03 MAY 2023 – Maintenance workers at Tomago Aluminium’s smelter in the Hunter Valley have endorsed the right to exercise industrial action in support of their wage and conditions claims in a new enterprise agreement.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and Electrical Trades Union (ETU) members near-unanimously voted on Friday for industrial action after rejecting Tomago’s sub-inflation pay rise offer.
Tomago’s pay offer was only 11% over the term of a two-year agreement, 6% for year 1 and 5% for year 2 – well below the consumer price index (CPI) of 7.8%.
AMWU Newcastle Lead Organiser Brad Pidgeon said:
"While wages are one of the claims being pursued by the combined unions, negotiations that started in February this year have now deteriorated due to the company releasing a final offer which was heavily rejected by the combined unions' membership.
"Industrial action is the last resort but with cost-of-living pressures remaining high, our members are asking for a decent wage to help alleviate the pressures on them and their families. Tomago's highly skilled maintenance workers are also seeking parity on other conditions with production workers onsite.
"Members of the combined unions have looked after the company during the most extreme of hard times – not only during COVID but for many years leading up. They only want what is fair and reasonable.
"The combined unions are prepared to back their members in to achieve a fair outcome."
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