Mine works compromise reached

UNIONS and ENGIE have reached a compromise over a dispute about the company using labour from outside the region for works in the Hazelwood mine.

Early yesterday, Gippsland Trades and Labour Council secretary Steve Dodd branded moves by the company to use workers from outside the region “a joke”.

Mr Dodd accused the company of bringing outside workers in “to do a job in the mine which we believe that the local contractors can do”.

“Not only are they giving an indecent amount of time to shut down this power station as opposed to doing it over a longer period, but they are now running around getting competitive tenders trying to get the cheapest and nastiest package of work from contractors outside of this region,” he said.

But by the end of the day it appeared an agreement had been reached and Mr Dodd said the union was waiting for the agreement to be confirmed.

Prior to the agreement being reached, an ENGIE in Australia spokesperson said the company was still in discussions with unions and potential contractors regarding a very small package of specialist rehabilitation work currently required in the Hazelwood mine.

“As we have always said, we will support local contract labour for rehabilitation and remediation work wherever we can, while acknowledging that there will be occasions where specialists skills not available in the Latrobe Valley may be required,” the spokesperson said.

“We continue to discuss this current small package of work with the unions and contractors and we hope to have the issue resolved in the next few days.”