August 17, 2018

Australian Workers’ Union industrial action


Alcoa of Australia Limited (Alcoa) is disappointed that the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) is continuing industrial action at the company’s Western Australian locations. This action is unnecessary and will only serve to impact employees through lost earnings.

After more than 18 months of intensive negotiations with the AWU, we have invited our employees to vote on the new EBA later this month.

Alcoa wants to continue to attract and retain the best people to run our operations, so we have offered employees a generous EBA that provides income growth on top of their already very competitive pay and conditions.

It includes provisions that are better than the market including a 14% superannuation contribution and an extended Sick Leave Program with two years’ income support.

The EBA also maintains many of the provisions we know our employees value including a 36-hour work week and the opportunity to earn extra income through supplementary shifts.

Alcoa has been operating in Western Australia for 55 years, providing long-term, stable employment for many thousands of people. Turnover amongst our workforce is extremely low and the average length of service of our employees who are AWU members is almost 20 years.

We hope to continue this proud history by remaining internationally competitive, attracting ongoing investment and providing jobs for future generations.

The EBA seeks to address employee concerns about job security and includes a commitment to call for voluntary redundancies, in the event changes to the workforce are required, and a generous redundancy package well above National Employment Standards.

We encourage our employees to carefully consider the generous offer we have put to them, and to take the opportunity to have their say on their EBA.

Our sites have contingency plans to ensure they can continue to operate during industrial action. We have not experienced any significant production impacts from the action to date and will continue to assess the situation as it develops.

We are very grateful to the employees who are working to maintain safe operations.

 

Background

Over the past 18 months Alcoa has been working hard with the AWU’s elected representatives to establish a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) for its Western Australian operations. 

During this time, Alcoa has participated in more than 50 meetings with the AWU as well as two mediated processes with the AWU, facilitated by a Fair Work
Commission Deputy President.

Despite our efforts, we have been unable to reach an agreement with the union.

Alcoa wants to establish a modern EBA that provides employees with competitive pay and conditions, allows us to manage our operations efficiently and productively, and gives us the ability to respond to changing market and operating conditions.

The AWU EBA covers approximately 1500 employees at Alcoa’s WA mining and refining operations. Alcoa directly employs more than 3750 people in WA, including more than 2000 in the Peel region, resulting in some AU$635 million in wages, salaries and benefits being paid each year.

The company annually invests about AU$1.4 billion in operating and capital expenditure in WA and pays about AU$400 million in state and federal taxes.

Alcoa has recently established new Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs) with its mechanical and electrical tradespeople in Western Australia.

The best way Alcoa can continue to be an important contributor to our economy and to provide well-paid local jobs now and into the future is to remain internationally competitive throughout the business cycle. A new modern EBA will help achieve this.

 

ENDS

Media contact: Jodie Read, 0404 800 335