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Industry News

WGC Cranes goes against CFMEU over ‘pattern bargaining’

Wollongong-based WGC Crane Group is going up against the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union over the Union’s latest industry agreement, according to a report by the Financial Review.

WGC Crane Group recently sought orders in the Fair Work Commission to stop the CFMEU’s indefinite strikes over a deal the company said would put it at severe risk of being undercut by its competitors.

The CFMEU’s proposed agreement would increase casual loadings from 25 per cent to 35 per cent, and up to 80 per cent if casual were used regularly after six weeks. The deal would last for just five months, expiring at the end of January 2019.

WGC Crane Group joins national crane operator Boom Logistics in opposing the Union’s state-wide push to sign up to its new template agreement.

“We are already paying 10 per cent to 20 per cent more than its Wollongong competitors and would be in ‘competitively parlous position’ under the union enterprise agreement, particularly due to its reliance on casuals,” WGC Crane Group said.

“The CFMEU was claiming other crane companies had signed up to the same deal and was trying to use that as leverage on WGC.

“It’s a pattern agreement that they’re rolling out to the industry, and they are essentially trying to knock over the crane companies one by one.”

Although the CFMEU has rejected the idea that they are engaging in pattern bargaining, the Union has agreed to interim stop orders pending final determination of the case.

Boom Logistics also secured interim orders, which has stopped the CFMEU’s indefinite strikes at Port Kembla, Carrington and Singleton over the same agreement.

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