|[Picture: PWCS Workers at the 15 May work stoppage.]|
Workers at Rio Tinto subsidiary Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) in Newcastle announced a new set of work stoppages, beginning from today, after ongoing negotiations broke down yesterday.
Stoppages will take place over the next four days. Work will stop today between 1.00am and 5.00am, between 10.00am and 2.00pm, and between 9.00pm and 5.00am. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights work stoppages will occur between 8.00pm and 4.00am.
MUA assistant national secretary Ian Bray said the union still wants to reach a fair agreement, but members have voted unanimously to ramp up protected action.
MUA Newcastle Branch secretary Glen Williams said: “Our members have given us a clear message that they will not walk away from years of industrial harmony and call on the company to stop this attack on their rights at work and return to the table and conclude these negotiations.
“We do not take this action lightly, but feel we have little choice given the company’s complete refusal to drop their claim for a watered down dispute clause.
“We remain available to meet with the company at any time to resolve these negotiations and we would urge PWCS to seriously consider revising their position and concluding these negotiations.”
Negotiations between unions and PWCS have produced over 50 agreed changes to the current enterprise agreement that will deliver further productivity and flexibility at the world's biggest coal export terminal.
Talks between union members and PWCS have seen more than ten months of negotiations.
The single bargaining unit representing workers comprises the Maritime Union of Australia, the Transport Workers Union, the Electrical Trade Union, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.
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