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Big win for Alcoa employees as EBA agreement is abolished

Fair Work votes in favour of AWU appeal against Alcoa
Protesters on the picket line outside the Alcoa Kwinana Refinery.
Photo: Skeer Media

The Fair Work Commission has ruled in favour of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) appeal against Alcoa’s attempts to put forward a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

This means the most recent agreement, set in 2014, is now back in place and should become the point of reference for negotiations.

The AWU and Alcoa have been in long-term, failed negotiations over a new EBA for more than 20 months.

More than 1600 employees undertook industrial action for 53 days, which ended in September.

If a new agreement wasn’t reached before June 2019, Alcoa employees would have been covered by the Aluminium Industry Award, the National Employment Standards and Alcoa’s policies.

The AWU’s WA acting state secretary and national vice president Brad Gandy said the decision would come as a “huge relief” to Alcoa workers fighting for a fair and reasonable agreement.

“When the old agreement was terminated by the Fair Work Commission it set in motion a six-month countdown toward wages being slashed and conditions evaporating,” Mr Gandy said.

“This is a terrible thing to have hanging over your head when you’re trying to support family and pay a mortgage.

“Today’s decision should shake Alcoa to its senses.

“Instead of trashing its relationship with its workforce and community, Alcoa should take a deep breath, come back to the table and actually negotiate reasonably.”

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