Yallourn talks recommence

A conciliation session between Yallourn Power Station management and workforce unions tomorrow will mark the first actual negotiation between the parties since enterprise bargaining talks stalled in April.

The introductory session at Fair Work Australia, between station operator EnergyAustralia and the five representative unions, spearheaded by the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, will seek to reinvigorate the EA negotiation process, which originally began 10 months ago.

The session comes after an application to FWA from EnergyAustralia, however CFMEU lead negotiator Greg Hardy said his union was planning to lodge a conciliation application on the same day.

While Mr Hardy said the bipartisan desire to enter conciliation talks was a promising sign, he stopped short of pre-empting a positive outcome.

EnergyAustralia has offered a pay deal directly to the station’s 34 maintenance workers, bypassing the majority production workforce represented by the CFMEU.

Mr Hardy said the CFMEU met with maintenance unions about the direct offer late last week.

He said while the Australia Services Union had formally indicated it would reject the offer, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Workers Union were yet to make their intentions known.

EnergyAustralia group executive manager operations and construction Michael Hutchinson said the company was keen to reach an agreement quickly, as industrial action at the station had continued to take its toll.