Brisbane Council blasted over worker lock out
Electricians employed by the Brisbane City Council are set to enter their seventh day of an employer-imposed lock out after seeking to have key concerns heard during current collective bargaining negotiations.
The employees who are members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) had taken part in paper work bans and a ban on minor work tasks last Friday (27 May 2017) in an attempt to have their claims heard during the EBA negotiation process.
ETU Queensland and Northern Territory Organiser Brenton Muller said the action had become necessary after the workers had been ignored by management during negotiations, when they raised concerns about Council’s “flexible rostering” proposal, which would allow Council to force workers to work shifts on any day or night of the week, at any time, with limited notice.
Instead of listening to their workers concerns however, the Brisbane City Council took the decision to lock out workers at 12:01am on Sunday (29 May 2017) in response to their limited work bans.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Paul Giles said the move to lock out the workers was particularly shameful.
“These workers have legitimate concerns about changes to their rostering and hours which relate to work-life balance and also workplace health and safety.
“To ignore such concerns it to ignore the health and well-being of your workers and the ultimately the quality of the service they provide.
“It’s a heartless employer who would lock out workers who provide such essential public safety services and effectively stand them down without pay,” Mr Giles said.
Mr Muller said the electricians had gone five years without a pay rise from Council but management were still pushing to diminish their working conditions.
“These electricians are already flexible and work when they are needed to, but Council is trying to pass a condition that they can dictate when they have to work 24/7 with zero consultation,” he said.
“The actions of Brisbane City Council during these negotiations are reprehensible to say the least.
“It is hard to see who Council have less respect for – their workers or the Brisbane public.”
Mr Muller called on Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to pull Council management into line and allow these electricians to return to work.
“These electricians are ready and willing to work. They want to perform the emergency tasks to keep the city’s traffic network operating safely – but Council will not let them,” he said.
To show your support and share the story of the locked out ETU members, visit the union’s Facebook page here.