Union rep steps up for frustrated Tarong workers
A UNION representative says the current Tarong worker strike will be dealt with as a matter of priority.
State organiser for Gladstone and Central region for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Phil Golby will meet with Downer workers today, October 30, to discuss their current concerns.
Earlier today Downer workers walked off the job at Tarong Power Station over issues with the proposed enterprise bargaining agreement.
"I take direction off the workers and then I go to the table on their behalf," Mr Golby said.
In the proposed EBA, Downer wants to reduce all the non-trade workers' wages by 10 per cent and their weekly hours will increase from 36 to 38.
Mr Golby said representing these members of the union was all part of his job.
"At the end of the day the only way we will get what they want is if we fight for it," he said.
Mr Golby said the initial EBA presented by Downer was even less desirable than what is currently being negotiated.
"Originally they came in with a big carving knife," he said.
"They wanted to do things like take away loading for casual employees."
After meeting with the workers, Mr Golby will meet with Downer staff later in the week.
The AMWU representative said all going well, this matter would be finalised swiftly as a matter of priority.
"Hopefully we can get this tied up in a week," he said.
The union representative said it could be challenging to have proper discussions with union members.
"We are only allowed to visit the workers during their meal breaks," he said.
"If we are even five minutes over the worker can be docked pay."
Mr Golby was confident they would be able to keep the workers' current level of pay.
"They are only trying to keep what they've got," he said.
"Lots of organisations have suffered over recent years, but Downer isn't one of them."
Downer was approached for comment but declined.