It’s Friday 27/01/2023. The sun has yet to rise, and the sight of both Cleanaway Hillsdale and Erskine Park is one that reflects solidarity in its finest form. In the early hours of the morning, TWU members at both yards stood together, proudly, as they exercised protected action against attacks to their pay and conditions.
This action was not the first. The Friday before, on 20/01/2023, Hillsdale workers took protected action for pay parity and better working conditions. The repeated protected action is a reflection of the state in which negotiations are. Unfortunately, Cleanaway is not coming to the table on important factors, including but not limited to, dispute resolution, a consultation clause, union recognition and job security.
Though workers are both tired and frustrated, they remain determined. TWU member Eamon said; “Unfortunately, we’ve had to come out and take industrial action because management do not want to listen to us. This process has been going on for over twelve months. We need to stay strong; keep the fight going. We need to send a message to upper management, and let them know that we are serious, and we’re not going to back down.”
The TWU unreservedly stands with the workers taking action. NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen has shared a comment.
“Congratulations on standing up to Cleanaway. There were two stoppages last week – those being at Hillsdale and Erskine Park. What our membership is asking for is only fair. Considering such a fact, many of the terms and conditions that workers are fighting for should be standard. Unfortunately, there has to be a fight – but with said fight, we can work towards paving the way for a better future at Cleanaway.”
Furthermore, Richard adds, “During the action at Erskine Park, a health and safety issue occurred that the TWU will not stand around and forget. We are working to bring Cleanaway to justice on this matter.”