Swift action wins union delegate back his job

Unionists and supporters celebrate Howard Byrnes' reinstatement outside Botany Cranes on January 30.

Crane operator and Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union delegate Howard Byrnes is back working at Botany Cranes, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, after a swift campaign by unionists and supporters got him reinstated.

Byrnes  was sacked on January 24 after he raised a number of serious concerns with his employer regarding workers' compensation insurance, superannuation, redundancy and other entitlements.

Byrnes had worked at the company for 17 years

In response to his sacking, a snap protest action was organised outside Botany Cranes the following morning. The action was effective, as by 8am the yard was deserted.

The CFMMEU also launched a petition campaign and was poised to take the matter to the Federal Court, while another protest was announced for January 30.

On the morning of the protest, following a meeting between the company and union representatives, it was announced that Byrnes had got his job back.

The announcement was celebrated as a win by the unionists and supporters gathered outside Botany Cranes.

Byrnes told Green Left Weekly: “It's been great to see this amount of support from other delegates, officials and the community. You can't win these things by yourself.

“It came to a head last week, but within a few days we've resolved it and now we can get back to work.”