Marathon AGL dispute ends with agreement

Members at AGL’s Loy Yang A Power Station have voted to approve a new enterprise agreement that delivers a 20% wage increase over four years, bringing their marathon two-yearlong dispute to an end.

ETU Organiser, Peter Mooney, welcomed the certainty the new agreement would provide members, but said the process and required trade-offs show the law wasn’t working and was stacked against workers.

“While these hundreds of workers won a 20% wage rise, it meant putting their fate in the hands of the commission. How it got there was because AGL, like so many other companies, was allowed to get their agreement terminated.”

He said AGL had used every trick and loophole in the law in their attempts to drive down the wages and conditions of their workers at Loy Yang A.

“This dispute once again demonstrates that Australia’s workplace laws are broken. When agreements negotiated in good faith can be terminated at the whim of a bureaucrat and unions are prevented from taking lawful industrial action, it is clear the balance has swung too far in favour of the bosses.”

“It is unacceptable that bosses can take advantage of loopholes in the Fair Work Act while workers and unions have our hands tied, like at AGL. A Fair Work Commission that can terminate agreements, ignore redundancy provisions and force resolutions to disputes that disadvantage workers, is not fair at all. We must change the rules.”