The Maritime Union of Australia is disgusted by the underhanded tactics being used by Esperance Port Sea and Land (EPSL) to pressure workers into agreeing to accept its latest pay offer.
EPSL has put its wage offer directly to workers, rather than going through the proper negotiating processes involving the union.
MUA Organiser Jeff Cassar said workers were offended by EPSL’s attempts to cut the union out of the negotiating process.
“Not only has EPSL tried to circumnavigate the union, but it has also tried to pressure workers by threatening to take its offer off the table if they do not agree to accept it by tomorrow (Friday),” he said.
“This is an outrageous move which has offended and angered the workforce. Workers know they are entitled to have the union bargain on their behalf and EPSL is trying to take away that right.”
The MUA and EPSL have been negotiating over a new EBA for almost 12 months, after the current agreement expired last December.
The Port Authority has offered a 4% annual wage increase, however it refuses to agree to a 2% income protection claim for members who cannot work due to an injury.
“Our members are very angry and disappointed at EPSL’s refusal to protect its workers,” said Mr Cassar.
“EPSL asked the union to find ways to offset its claims, which we have done, however they are now telling us that it is not enough.
“The Port Authority is being unreasonable and its workforce is not impressed.”
Workers will hold a two hour stop work meeting from 6.30am tomorrow to discuss EPSL’s offer.
The Union has already applied to take Protected Industrial Action if EPSL continues to bargain in bad faith.