Hazelwood agreement reached

Power station lockouts have been heralded as a thing of the past, with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union reaching a “no conflict” enterprise agreement at Hazelwood.

CFMEU mining and energy president Luke van der Meulen has announced the end of a six-month Hazelwood bargaining period and an agreement that will see mine and power station workers receive a five per cent pay increase every 12 months over the next four years.

He said other conditions included operational and training improvements for mine and power station workers.

“At Yallourn we negotiated with them for nine months, they ignored every one of our concerns and treated us with contempt, which led to a lockout,” Mr van der Meulen said.

“This is in stark contrast to that sort of negotiation.

“It’s an example of will on both sides, employers and employees, to settle on an agreement in an amicable way when the time and inclination is there.”

The Australian Electoral Commission ballot result saw a total of 279 workers out of an eligible 371 participate.

The count break-down consisted of 231 voting yes and 46 voting no.

Mr van der Meulen also said the agreement was reached during a difficult time for power industry workers, considering an oversupply in the Australian electricity market.

“There was a high approval from the workforce and we’ve been approached by senior management, who are happy with the agreement as well,” he said.

GDF SUEZ spokesman Trevor Rowe said the agreement was to be ratified by the Fair Work Commission soon.

“We’re very happy with the outcome from a business end and for the employees. It’s enabled us to focus clearly on the business.”