MUA Members Walk Off The Job In Support Of Fair Wages Outcome

More than 80 Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members walked off the job at the Kwinana site of CBH today, in support of a fair wages outcome for plant operators at the site.

This initial protected industrial action will be for two days, with workers forming a picket line outside the workplace.

The MUA has been seeking pay rises of 5%, 5% and 5% over three years, with an additional adjustment to allowances.

CBH has refused to agree to the MUA’s request, instead offering pay increases of 5%, 4% and 4%, over three years, with no adjustment to allowances.  CBH recently awarded pay rises of 6%, 6% and 5% over three years, at each of its Albany, Geraldton and Esperance operations.

MUA Assistant Secretary Will Tracey said the MUA was seeking a fair pay outcome, to ensure the wages and conditions of CBH’s Kwinana workforce kept pace with workers at its other sites.

“The annual salary for a Plant Operator Grade 2 in CBH’s Albany, Geraldton and Esperance operations is $78,986, while the equivalent salary at their Kwinana operation is $77,500.  With CBH offering its Kwinana workers lower pay rises than it recently provided to its Albany, Geraldton and Esperance workers, there is a real risk that its Kwinana workforce will fall further behind.”

Mr Tracey said there was no logical reason for CBH to pay its workers, more at some sites, and less at others.

“The only reason the MUA can think of for CBH not agreeing to a fair wages deal now, is that they are living in hope of Tony Abbott getting elected and a return to the WorkChoices way of doing business,” he said.

“The cost of living in WA is higher than anywhere in the country, and all CBH workers deserve a decent pay rise, no matter where they live.”