Workers at Rio Tinto’s subsidiary Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) in Newcastle announced that they will proceed with a work stoppage today (Friday) and then broaden legally protected actions with a new 24-hour work stoppage on May 29.
|[Picture: PWCS Workers]|
The previously announced stoppage will take place from 6.30am until 14.30pm today.
However, due to the continued unwillingness of PWCS to reach agreement on the major outstanding issues and its belligerence in bargaining, the workforce has also declared the full-day stoppage.
“Unfortunately, despite our continued commitment to reach an agreement, we don’t think the company is getting the message,” MUA assistant national secretary Ian Bray said.
“So we are stepping up our campaign of legally protected action whilst continuing every effort to reach a deal.”
MUA Newcastle Branch secretary Glen Williams said the full-day stoppage underscores the solidarity expressed by rank-and-file members.
“The decision to escalate the protected action is not taken lightly but these negotiations have been going for a long time and our members want a resolution that protects their rights at work,” 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.