PWCS Workers Declare New Stoppage

Workers at Rio Tinto’s subsidiary Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) in Newcastle announced a new work stoppage scheduled for Friday.

The stoppage will take place 24 May from 6:30 a.m. until 14:30 pm. The new protected action follows a massive show of support during a four-hour 15 May work stoppage.  During that stoppage, over 200 members unanimously endorsed future action necessary to bring about a resolution to the dispute.

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Ian Bray, MUA Assistant National Secretary, underscored the union’s continued hope that an agreement can be reached. “We continue to keep the door wide open for a fair agreement,” he said. “But, we are also going forward with a steady campaign of legally protected action as well as a broader strategy to bring justice to our members.”

Glen Williams, Newcastle Branch Secretary, explained the new work stoppage is in line with the solidarity expressed by rank-and-file members. “The workers across all five unions continue to be solidly united behind the simple principle that we are as much a part of the success of the company as management is, a fact the company needs to recognise and change its anti-union posture,” he said.

Talks between union members and PWCS have seen more than eight 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.