Union condemns Downer's 19th century approach to industrial relations

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) WA Branch has condemned plans by Downer EDI to employ a “strike breaking” work force to work during a legal, protected action being taken by workers at the Alcoa Kwinana refinery for four hours next Tuesday 1 March.

A recruitment agency called FlexiStatff has been engaged to recruit a workforce for ten hours on the day of the protected action.

FlexiStaff have placed an online advertisement with, calling for recruits from across a range of trades and positions to cover the four-hour strike period, as well as an additional six hours.

ETUWA Branch Secretary, Les McLaughlan, said that the ETU and other unions had been attempting to negotiate a fair settlement with Downer on the Alcoa site for 12 months now, with no success.

“Workers at the Alcoa Kwinana Refinery haven’t had a pay increase since 2013, and with Downer now refusing to come to the bargaining table, workers have now decided to take legal, protected action as is their right under the Fair Work Act,” he said

“Instead of coming back to the negotiating table, Downer have decided to dramatically escalate the conflict by resorting to 19th century strikebreaking tactics that have no place in the modern industrial landscape.

“Bringing on staff for a single day who are unfamiliar with this operation has common sense safety implications and is a poor tactical move by Downer.

“We call on them to negotiate a fair settlement in good faith, rather than resorting to strikebreaking and intimidation.”

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