Brenda Strong

Workplace negotiations kick off again at Orica

THE Fair Work Commission was back in Gladstone this week as discussions continued in Orica Yarwun's bid to find middle ground for a new workers' agreement.

Negotiations have been going on for more than two years, since the company's former enterprise bargaining agreement expired.

Earlier this year several unions drew their battle lines with the company, voting for protected industrial action.

Site general manager Scott Reid said negotiations kicked off again this week, with mediated bargaining meetings between Orica, the unions and the Fair Work Commission on Monday and Tuesday.

"While there's still a way to go, we feel we're making good progress to resolve the outstanding issues and we're working hard to reach an outcome we can all agree on," Mr Reid said.

Gladstone union officials argue Orica's proposed changes would remove the "classification structure" and allow the company to change pay and roster agreements.

Mr Reid told The Observer in July there were no proposals to lower salaries or change redundancy entitlements for its workers, but the company sought changes to some rosters.

The company's enterprise bargaining agreement is one of two being mediated by the nation's peak workers' body in Gladstone.

Gladstone Power Station has spent about 10 months negotiating changes to its enterprise bargaining agreement.

The station has applied to abolish its former agreement, and its workers have voted for strike action.



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