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Industrial Relations

Workers to strike at Infrabuild’s Newcastle mills

Australian Workers' Union 2 mins read

Workers will walk off the job for two hours at 12pm today (Thu 2/11/23)

Infrabuild Rod Mill and AusTube Mills (Cnr of Park Rd and George Bishop Dr, Mayfield North, NSW, 2304)

Workers at Infrabuild's Newcastle Rod Mill and AusTube Mills will walk off the job today as part of unprecedented industrial action over management's refusal to offer pay rises that come close to keeping pace with the cost of living.

This current industrial action marks the first time in three decades that there have been strikes at the mills.

Over recent years, the Newcastle Rod Mill has experienced record-low staffing levels, affecting productivity and morale of members. AusTube Mills employees, meanwhile, have dealt with the stripping back of conditions.

AWU NSW Branch Secretary Tony Callinan said the unprecedented industrial action was due to Infrabuild's uncompetitive wage offer that failed to keep pace with the cost of living and was rejected by 85 per cent of the workforce at the Newcastle Rod Mill and 91 per cent of the workforce at AusTube Mills.

"Industrial action has been a rare site at the Newcastle Rod Mill and AusTube Mills in modern history and the decision to walk off the job was not taken lightly," Mr Callinan said.

"It is important that management understands this action will persist until our members are offered a fair and reasonable wage increase.

"At the Newcastle Rod Mill we have been encouraged by Infrabuild's recent movement in negotiations, but our members are adamant that wage increases should be made into base wages and not structured as bonuses. At AusTube Mills we remain concerned about the erosion of a range of conditions from the current enterprise agreement.

"Other businesses in Newcastle, such as Tomago Aluminium and UGL, have recognised the challenges posed by the rising cost of living. In their recent enterprise agreements, they have provided a substantial six per cent increase in the first year to acknowledge the pressing concerns of their employees. We believe Infrabuild should consider similar measures.

"Our collective commitment to securing a fair and just outcome for the hardworking individuals at the Newcastle mills remains steadfast."

The current industrial action involves members of the Australian Workers' Union (AWU), the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU), and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).

Key Facts:

Workers will walk off the job for two hours at 12pm today (Thu 2/11/23)

Location: Cnr of Park Rd and George Bishop Dr, Mayfield North, NSW, 2304

Contact details:

Ben Horan (AWU, Rod Mill) 0437 418 316 / John Boyd (AWU, AusTube Mills) 0425 302 964 / Anil Lambert 0416 426 722

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