LEE CONSTABLE

Hastings EBA talks resume

HASTINGS Deering is preparing for a new round of negotiations after its enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) was defeated.

Hastings Deering managing director Dean Mehmet said the company remained confident its EBA was the best possible solution for minimising the need for further job cuts but the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) continued to muddy the waters with claims wages would be cut by 25%.

AMWU industry co-ordinator Brad Hansen this week said the union had been hopeful the company would resume negotiations.

He said the AMWU had felt the vote was premature and the time taken to hold the ballot could have been better spent in discussions.

Mr Mehmet said there always was "back and forth" with EBA negotiations but the company had worked considerably to provide industry-leading terms and conditions, consulting with all stakeholders, including employee representatives.

"There is not a one-size-fits-all figure as the union claims," Mr Mehmet said.

"The fact is, our mining services operations have slowed significantly because of the resources sector downturn.

"Competition is fierce and we have had to respond accordingly."

Mr Mehmet said Hastings Deering's EBA acknowledged the need to remain competitive and sustainable and to continue to attract and retain experienced employees during this challenging time.

"We are focused on the future and while the resources sector is subdued we, along with our competitors, need to run leaner operations.

"It is essential to meet the market head-on."



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