BIG WIN: TWU comes out on top in EA talks with Cement Australia. Members at Cement Australia with organiser Ray Shortill (front left).
Negotiations began in April this year when the previous EA was due to expire and our negotiating committee included delegates Adam Wilson, John Taylor and organiser Ray Shortill.
Our Cement Australia members had consistently maintained the same agreement for 11 years and were focused on retaining the basic working terms and conditions of the EBA that they already had in place.
We went to the negotiating table determined to fight for:
- A 12-hour guarantee on our annualised salary
- A four-year agreement
- A 6% pay increase
- Paid overtime
A range of general matters such as RDOs (rostered days off)
From the very start, Cement Australia made it quite clear that their primary intention was to dismantle the agreement our members already had in place.
In the words of Adam Wilson, one of our delegates at the concrete company:
"They (Cement Australia) came straight out and told us that they couldn't get us off our 12-hour annualised salary," Mr Wilson said.
"They had attempted several times previously to take it away from us.
"They wanted any new employees put on a wage and overtime 7.5-hour deal; that was their main sticking point."
Cement Australia even wanted to remove the members' Dispute Procedure and replace it with one that would favour them.
The TWU negotiating team met regularly with Cement Australia management for more than six months and worked tirelessly to protect members' conditions from being unfairly taken away.
Finally in mid-October, after prolonged negotiations, Cement Australia backed down and agreed to the great majority of our claims.
For example, paid meal allowances in our EA will not be taken away.
In addition, improvements have been incorporated to the new EA.
Members will be able to incorporate an assumed travel time - travel to and from their jobs.
Concrete Australia also agreed to payments that would be backdated to May 2013 because the agreement took so long to be concluded.
On top of the backpay, our members also managed to clinch a 3.5% increase to their superannuation.
Thanks to our delegates Adam Wilson, John Taylor, our Cement Australia members and our organiser on the ground Ray Shortill.
This win would not have been possible without the unity and determination our TWU members showed and this victory only serves to remind us of the importance of workers joining a union.
Click here to read the original article at the Big Rigs website.