Unions picket Barangaroo construction site over new agreement

July 26, 2012
Picket at the Barangaroo construction site.

Members of building unions went on strike from July 25 at Lend Lease projects around Australia to push for a new national Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

The Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) said “the main points of disagreement in the dispute relate to wages and other issues”, including job security, site allowances and adding Western Australian workers to the agreement.
Construction National Secretary Dave Noonan said: “The CFMEU continues to negotiate with Lend Lease on the agreement.

“However, our members are prepared for a long, hard battle with Lend Lease to secure a decent national EBA. That ought to be understood by the industry and Lend Lease’s clients who want to see their buildings finished in a timely way.

“The company’s position on delaying increases and the other issues is not acceptable to our members. They are prepared to fight hard to ensure Lend Lease come up with a better deal.”

In a July 25 statement of solidarity, Australian Council of Trade Unions President Ged Kearney said members of the CFMEU had the support of all Australian unions.

She said the CFMEU was seeking equal pay and conditions for employees of sub-contractors on Lend Lease sites, including the Barangaroo project in Sydney.

“Unions are appalled that an iconic building firm like Lend Lease that last year made a profit of almost half a billion dollars is refusing to negotiate a job security clause in their enterprise agreement.”

Unions have also condemned Lend Lease for failing to provide jobs to apprentices across Australia.

At a picket line outside the Barangaroo development on Sydney’s waterfront on July 27, CFMEU NSW state secretary Brian Parker told Green Left Weekly: "Lend Lease sites are in lockdown across the country. The company is not currently bargaining in good faith.

"We want a security of employment clause, and oppose the prevalence of labour hire on these jobs.”

He said the company’s latest offer was “a joke”.

"They are proposing to bring forward site allowances a year, from 2016 to 2015. Workers at this project, and elsewhere, are standing firm, and demanding a fair agreement from the company."

[Support the workers by coming to the picket in Sydney, at Barangaroo on Hickson St.]

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