WA Court Guards Say Strike Could Continue
Release date: 10/09/2012
Striking security guards at Perth courts have warned industrial action will continue if they can't reach an acceptable employment agreement with G4S.
AAP Newswire, Australia
About 100 security and custodial officers at Central Law Courts and the District Court of Western Australia stopped work for 24 hours just after midnight on Monday.
The workers had been trying to negotiate a new enterprise bargaining agreement with employers G4S since February, Transport Workers Union (TWU) spokesman Paul Aslan said.
Mr Aslan said it was the first time he could recall court guards taking industrial action.
"It's fairly historical because they're people that would not normally go on strike," Mr Aslan told AAP.
He said the strike would cause severe disruption to the operation of the two courts and was potentially dangerous.
Only a few non-union workers had turned up to work on Monday as normal.
"They (G4S) actually applied for the action to be terminated on the grounds that it would endanger life, but they're now trying to manage courts with very limited numbers," Mr Aslan said.
"Those are the people that really keep the order in the place and they're not there."
Mr Aslan said further strikes could be necessary.
"It won't be the last time it happens," he said.
"If we can't sort out our grievances, we will be taking further industrial action."
The workers' concerns included G4S insisting on a four-year agreement, changing conditions and a reduction in minimum weekly hours from 30 to 25.
Mr Aslan said the existing proposal from G4S was "a dog's breakfast".
"Hopefully there will be some movement," he said.
"We're willing to talk."
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