Union members protest over ferry transit times, housing
BECHTEL ferries travelling from Curtis Island to the mainland are known to be so slow that seagulls pass them - that's according to Australian Manufacturing Workers Union local representative Phil Golby.
A crowd of more than 200 gathered at Gladstone's Apex Park on Sunday with the AMWU, the Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Workers Union protesting on a number of issues including excessive travel and motelling.
Motelling is when a worker is not given a consistent room for the period of their contract, which Mr Golby said made it difficult for workers to create a home base and friends.
Bechtel's Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg responded to this issue.
"Book-in book-out is the most effective, efficient and sustainable method of accommodating our non-local workforce," he said.
"We believe the facilities and the services they are provided offer them a high level of comfort."
Workers are generally paid for 1.5 hours' travel in their work day.
That includes two 30-minute slots and two 15-minute ferry rides, but Mr Golby said end-of-shift ferry rides could be an hour and were not on time.
Mr Berg acknowledged the long hours the workers performed.
"We aim to make the ferry travel time to and from the island as efficient as possible. We are constantly working to improve our transport systems both on the way to work and home from work."
The rally finished with a march to the Goondoon St QCLNG office.
Sunday: Union members from the Electrical Trades Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Australian Workers union have rallied today against a number of issues including motelling and ferry transit times.
Motelling is where a worker is required to pack up their belongings in their donga before going on leave so it can be occupied by another worker.
On return they are given a different donga and therefore there is no consistency with their living arrangements.
Another issue addressed was the inconsistent ferry transit times on return from Curtis Island which workers said added hours to already long days.
The rally began with speeches at Apex Park in Gladstone before hundreds of workers marched up Goondoon St to finish outside of the QCLNG office.