Strike at Curtis Island enters fifth day as unlawful strikers ordered back to work

QCLNGStriking workers at the QCLNG plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone, who are not protected by industrial action laws, have been ordered back to work by the Fair Work Commission.

The Commission made the order yesterday as the CFMEU strike moves into its fifth day, the Gladstone Observer reports.

The striking workers are demanding that Bechtel, the company managing the project, introduce 3/1 rosters for the duration of the project. The current agreement only introduces a 3/1 roster in the second half of the third year of the project.

The CFMEU is also demanding that productivity payments be brought forward to November of this year, six months earlier than the May 2015 date stipulated in the original agreement.

Bechtel Gladstone general manager Kevin Berg told the Gladstone Observer, “We understand the key issue is moving towards a three and one roster.”

“We are willing to go in that direction but not at this stage in the project. To make that shift would be a huge impact on the number of people needed to maintain the workforce.”

“We believe our proposed agreement is a good one for our employees and there are many benefits for them, which includes the future introduction of a 3/1 roster,” Mr Berg said.

The strikers are picketing the Port Central and Fishermans wharf terminals north of Gladstone.

Mr Berg said work was continuing  on all projects on the island, despite the disruption of the strike.

Speaking on site at Port Central, CFMEU assistant state secretary Jade Ingham said, “I think Bechtel know we’re serious about a decent lifestyle and a good work/life balance.”

“Clearly the agreement has to be voted down this week for the chance of workers to change their conditions.”

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