ETU urges Goodline employees to VOTE NO to substandard agreement

Engineering, construction and maintenance services company Goodline is putting a sub-standard EBA out to vote on 1 June. 

This agreement would cover employees in WA, QLD, NT SA and NSW and offers substandard rates and conditions that amount to a pay cut in real terms.

The Union urges Goodline employees to vote NO to the proposed agreement.

Goodline currently have long term maintenance contracts in remote towns with a long-term workforce. They also have an 18-month construction contract at Fortescue Metals Group for the Iron Bridge mine port facilities.

The proposed agreement:

  • only pays electricians $39.69/hr and due to additional numbers in WA they are throwing an extra $1.50/hour to WA workers to vote it up. (This rate is lower than some of the grubbiest non-unionised contractors in all states and territories, let alone mining towns.)
  • provides only 2% increases annually with no CPI safety net. (It is essentially a pay cut with annual inflation.)
  • includes a dispute resolution procedure that means the Fair Work Commission can only arbitrate on issues if the company agrees to it.

The company also agreed to increase the local living allowance for those in regional areas to $700/week but the draft document says $500/week. This allowance also doesn’t apply to apprentices who live and work in these remote areas.

Goodline came into bargaining with a predetermined agenda and outcome and they have said no to almost every claim in the log of claims. They have not come to the bargaining table in good faith. No draft document was provided to the unions until two days after it was sent out for viewing by employees for the access period.

“It is an absolute indictment on the current state of our industrial relations laws when a company like Goodline can treat the bargaining process as a tick and flick exercise, simply waiting the minimum amount of time required under the Fair Work Act before putting out a substandard agreement that has given little to no regard to claims put forward by workers and their Unions,” said ETU WA NorthWest Organiser Ash Bamford.

“Any electrician who looks at the rates and conditions in this agreement and thinks that this is all they are worth needs to take a long hard look at themselves,” he said.

Employees of Goodline should vote NO to this agreement, and demand better wages and conditions.

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This article was publised on 31 May 2022.