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Dad launches fight for better pay

“One man can make a difference,” says unionist Eddie Malo. Eddie staged a one-man picket line outside RMD in North Rockhampton yesterday.
“One man can make a difference,” says unionist Eddie Malo. Eddie staged a one-man picket line outside RMD in North Rockhampton yesterday. Chris Ison

ROCKHAMPTON single dad Eddie Malo has launched a one-man fight against what he says are wages so low he can no longer support his family.

The local 40-year-old father of five yesterday started a one man picket line on McLaughlin St to highlight the difficulties he faces to support his family on a construction worker's wage.

He said he wanted his employer, Rapid Metal Developments (RMD) Australia, to better support its workers and their families.

"Currently that's what this is all about, [we're] being under paid and undervalued by the company," he said.

Although Mr Malo is holding the Rockhampton post alone, the battle against RMD Australia is a state-wide, union-led campaign.

Assistant Secretary for the CFMEU in Queensland, Jade Ingham, said the CFMEU was asking for a standard rate for RMD workers across the state as some yards were paid at different rates at the discretion of local yard managers.

He said wages were so low in some sites that workers were currently struggling to make ends meet.

"It effects their ability to support their families, in effect their ability to maintain a decent standard of living, providing reasonable standard of living for their family," he said.

The CFMEU wants a pay rise for all RMD yards across Queensland who are not yet at the $27 an hour pay rate - a request Mr Ingham said would bring all QLD workers closer to the $30 an hour market rate for the industry.

He said the increase was not an unreasonable request.

"They're not greedy, they're not asking for above market rates," he said.

RMD Australia was contacted yesterday but did not return The Morning Bulletin's calls.

Mr Ingham said no worker took the decision to walk off the job lightly but workers across the state felt they had no other choice.

Topics:  cfmeu construction equal pay pay protest wages


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