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.”