Move to split unions

Yallourn power station owner EnergyAustralia has once again moved to split unions involved in a harrowing industrial dispute, making an enterprise bargaining offer directly to in-house maintenance workers last week.

However the company’s second attempt to bypass the dispute’s major union, the Construction Forestry Energy and Mining Union, looks set to fail yet again, with a well-placed union source indicating the proposed agreement was inadequate.

“The maintenance unions will not be supporting this agreement… (it will be) voted down in its current form,” the source said.

A draft maintenance agreement circulated for “internal discussion” dated 19 August, seen by The Express, was touted to deliver pay increases which achieved ‘parity’ between EA maintenance workers and Silcar contractor employees.

With a lockout of 75 power station operators represented by the CFMEU now in its 10th week, about 45 maintenance workers, also covered by the EA under negotiation, have continued to work at the station.

Unions representing the maintenance workers, the Australian Manufacturing Union, Electrical Trades Union, Australain Services Union, and the Australian Workers Union, have kept a relatively low profile on their bargaining strategy in recent months.

Earlier this year, an alternative agreement put directly to maintenance workers was narrowly voted down by one vote.

An EnergyAustralia spokesperson refused to comment on the latest offer.

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