Alcoa workers start returning to work following strike action

Striking Alcoa workers last month.
Striking Alcoa workers last month.

ALCOA workers started returning to work after the company announced on Friday it was offering enhanced job security in a revised Australian Workers Union Enterprise Bargaining Agreement it will put to an employee vote in October.

The workers have been on strike since early August after rejecting a proposed new EBA.

AWU State president Andy Hacking said there was some job security in the revised EBA, which was a significant improvement, but it still needed to be worked on.

“Its better to return to work while waiting for decisions from the Industrial Relations Commission on termination of the current agreement and the vote in mid-October,’’ he said.

Mr Hacking paid tribute to the “wonderful support” received during the strike.

“People from little old ladies and families to other unions, business and the general community were behind us,’’ he said.

“We were absolutely blown away by the support,’’ he said.

Managing director Michael Parker said Alcoa had given a commitment in the revised EBA that it would not make employees forcibly redundant by outsourcing their work or replacing them with limited term or casual employees.

“Now we have addressed job security, we encourage the AWU to endorse the revised EBA and for our employees to return to work so they can restore their livelihoods,’’ Mr Parker said.

“We thank those employees who have already returned and our dedicated teams who have kept our WA operations running safely and productively during this difficult time.”

Mr Parker said any new EBA must allow Alcoa to manage its business according to increasingly volatile global operating demands.

“We want to resolve this matter so we can provide certainty to all parties and return our focus to remaining internationally competitive, attracting ongoing investment and providing secure and well paid jobs now and for future generations.”

Employees will receive more information on the revised EBA in coming days and weeks before voting in mid-October.