BY STUART MARTIN
WOLLONGONG — At an August 20 hearing of the NSW Industrial Relations Commission, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Australian Workers Union succeeded in again delaying BHP's attempt to sign outsourcing contracts for its maintenance crews.
Justice Michael Walton ruled that BHP had to hold off signing the outsourcing contracts with Transfield and Fluor Goninan until after the next hearing on August 28. It is unlikely that there will be an outcome from this meeting. This will force BHP to negotiate with the unions, with the unions arguing that the orders preventing a finalisation of contracts remain in place.
Currently, the unions are restricted by IRC orders preventing them from legally taking industrial action.
The unions are adamant that they will succeed in this against BHP. AMWU organiser Wayne Phillips told Green Left Weekly that he was "confident of a win as long as we all stick together".