Australian Manufacturers' Workers Union delegate Andrew Lockwood with his family at an early morning protest outside Gladstone Power Station.
Australian Manufacturers' Workers Union delegate Andrew Lockwood with his family at an early morning protest outside Gladstone Power Station. Tegan Annett

'Strip conditions': Bosses apply to terminate agreement

THE Gladstone Power Station operators have moved to terminate its workers' agreement, leaving no end in sight to a battle between the company and its employees.

Acting general manager Nigel Warrington confirmed an application had been made to the Fair Work Commission this week to terminate the power station's current Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

The move, which could take months to be approved or rejected, is the latest in NRG's efforts to bring in its proposed new EBA.

LOOKING BACK | EBA negotiations at Gladstone Power Station

>> 'Very nasty': NRG workers protest outside power station

>>'No changes to existing wages': NRG responds to power station protest

Meanwhile, the unions have warned they won't back down in their fight against the changes and have applied for a vote on strike action.

They are expected to know if that will be legal in mid-June.

Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union secretary Rohan Webb said it was a "gutless" move by NRG to attempt to terminate the agreement.

The decision follows a vote by employees in which more than 98% rejected the company's new EBA offer.

"Now the company is trying to use the back door to wipe the slate clean and strip conditions from their employees," Mr Webb said.

"Securing good local jobs across Gladstone is the number one priority for our union and the support of the Gladstone community proves people want workers at NRG to get a fair go.

"Our message to NRG is a simple one - we will not back down," he said.

Mr Warrington said the application to terminate the EBA would not affect the company's negotiations with unions.

He said there had been little progress in the eight months of bargaining for changes to the site's EBA.

"We remain opposed on a number of key issues," he said.

"Our preference is to reach an agreement that satisfies all parties and does so with little disruption to our people, NRG and our stakeholders."

Mr Warrington said the company's offer had no changes to existing wages, leave, superannuation and other benefits for current employees.

While new employees would be paid the same rates of pay, their redundancy provisions would be different to current employees.

Unions argue the new redundancy scheme is a way to "casualise" the workforce, and worry the new EBA would make it easier for NRG to hire contractors.

AMWU delegate Andrew Lockwood, an NRG employee, said the workforce was angry and disappointed the company had chosen to ignore their views.

"Gladstone has been going through a tough patch and our community needs good jobs to support local business and grow our local economy," he said.

The next bargaining meeting for the EBA changes is due this week.


Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

People in the area may be affected by smoke

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

The group planted 35 trees for National Tree Day earlier this year.

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