||Issue No. 266||03 June 2005|
An Act of Faith
Interview: The Baby Drought
Industrial: Lies, AWAs and Statistics
Workplace: The Invisible Parents
History: Bruce’s Big Blunder
Politics: All God's Children
Economics: Spun Out
International: Shakey Trials
Legal: Civil Distrubance
Review: Crash Course In Racism
Poetry: You're Fired
Broken Hill Confronts "Choice"
Soaring Mercury Sparks Walk Off
Education Stands Up To Howard Assault
The Locker Room
Remembering Workers In Cairns
Fair Go For Injured Workers
A Question Of Choice
Galahs Up The Cross
Labor Council of NSW
EDI Court Out
EDI relented on its hardline stance, at the beginning of a fourth week of an "unofficial lockout" and agreed to pay members of the AMWU, CFMEU, AWU and ETU for work performed.
"We told them we wouldn't work unless we were paid after they refused to pay people for two days," AMWU organiser Rohan Webb said. "Unfortunately, it took another three weeks of lockout before they saw sense.
"It came after the unions took a strategic decision to lodge Federal Court proceedings to try and get our money.
"Every day, at 7am and 2 oclock we have seen the company and offered to work, on condition of getting paid. Every day they refused, until the paper were filed."
The company has also walked away from its refusal to negotiate with unions, imposed after workers turned down its first pay offer.
The issue blew up after EDI told workers at its Maryborough Rail operation they would not be paid for two days when they had overtime bans, and other restrictions, in place.
The AMWU says EDI's hardline stance has stripped about $600,000 out of the local economy and that money is still at issue.
"We still have legal action underway to recoup the wages lost when our people were prepared to work but the company wouldn't pay them," Webb said.
EDI has split the old Maryborough workshops into five different business units, operating under various employment agreements.
Colleagues at the adjacent EDI Services, also have a range of bans and limitation in force.
Three months ago, a sit-in forced the company to reinstate two tradesmen who had refused to do the work of striking EDI Services employees.
The Queensland workers want equal pay and conditions with other rail workers around Australia, common expiry dates for EDI documents, and arms-length control of their entitlements.
Webb says the company's different business units are an "artificial device" to split the workforce.
"What we are looking for is equal pay for equal work, whether you live in Queensland or the southern states, it's as simple as that," he said.
Union members have lifted their "peaceful vigil" but warn it is likely to be reimposed if negotiation founder again.
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