The Upper Hunter employees’ demands are simple enough.
Yet, French multinational company Thales is refusing to come to the party.
So, on Friday morning, more than 50 workers from the Defence Establishment Myambat, near Denman, took part in national-protected industrial action – a four-hour stoppage.
The employees’ Enterprise Agreement expired last July and the National Union of Workers (NUW) has been negotiating with Thales since December for a new deal.
But, the defence contractor is yet to put forward a fair offer, according to NUW organiser Ian Madgwick.
“Thales has a contract with the Australian Defence Force to store, distribute and maintain explosive ordnance at 17 facilities across the nation,” he told the Hunter Valley News.
“Our members work in storing, unloading, transporting and distributing explosive ordnance.
“They are seeking a fair agreement that will take a step towards pay equality with other workers doing similar work and provide fair compensation for the risky work they do with dangerous goods.
“The workers have asked the company for an eight per cent increase up front (15 per cent is required for pay equality) but have not been offered any up front pay increase.
“The other major issue for them is that they are not being paid a dangerous goods allowance even though most explosive ordnance workers are working on depots classed as major hazard facilities.
“The ball’s in Thales’ court.”
Full story: Friday’s Muswellbrook Chronicle