Steel workers agree to second pay vote

Nearly a month after Arrium workers stood divided on a proposed pay cut, steel workers will be heading back for a second vote on the Enterprise Agreement.

KordaMentha Partner Sebastian Hams told of the second vote during his presentation at Monday night’s Whyalla City Council meeting.

“The delegates and Unions have agreed to go to another vote, we will likely have the next vote during the middle of next week, potentially Tuesday and Thursday,” he said.

Steelworkers voted ‘no’ to a 10 per cent pay cut in the previous vote held in August, while mining workers voted to accept the reduction – making the result a split vote.

This meant wages would remain the same, potentially leading to an expired EBA agreement.

“We’ve talked to people, taking things on board, we’ve made some really subtle changes – so subtle some aren’t reflected in the EBA, it’s just some timing changes,” Mr Hams told the Whyalla community.

“We’re very aware that some people voted ‘no’ because they just can’t afford it, but at the same time we firmly believe this is what will be best for both the mines and the steelworks in the long term.”

Councillor Tim Breuer asked Mr Hams if further information had been provided to Arrium employees in conjunction with the voting process.

“It’s probably pretty important considering its a monumental decision,” he said.

Mr Hams said the administrators had actually provided ‘too much’ information during the previous voting process.

“This time we have simplified the information because there were some things that people just didn’t understand about the voting process,” he said.

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