ASC pledges to work with striking workers but cuts pay offer – report


Submarine builder ASC has acknowledged industrial action underway at its headquarters at Osborne Naval Shipyard in Adelaide and pledged to work for a mutually beneficial outcome to the dispute.

However according to an unconfirmed report on Channel 7 news the government owned business cut a proposed wage rise of 10 percent to 6.75 percent, suggesting the dispute is far from over.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, Australian Workers’ Union and Electrical Trades Union members walked off the job in a protected dispute at Osborne yesterday, seeking an improvement in a wages to that of parity with ASC workers at Henderson in Western Australia.

The 350 workers have rejected the earlier offer which is seven percent short of parity with their Perth counterparts – WA workers receive 17 percent on average more than ASC workers in South Australia, according to unions.

The Managing Director & CEO of ASC Stuart Whiley said: ‘Despite ASC’s best intentions, we have been unable to reach an agreement with the unions and their members in regard to their claims.

“We will continue to negotiate with the unions and our workers in good faith, to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.”

ASC workers carry out deep maintenance of the Collins class submarines in Adelaide and are to maintain Australia’s nuclear submarines when they come into service.

In March the federal government named ASC and BAE Systems Australia as future constructors of Australia’s own submarines, known as AUKUS-SSN – with Adelaide set to be the site of a new submarine construction yard.

ASC said in a statement that it acknowledged the protected industrial action taken by unions and recognised their right to take this action.

“ASC has been in exhaustive negotiations with the Unions and their representatives over the last six months and has made a number of offers, taking into account the economic and environmental cost factors of the two locations.

“The unions and their members have rejected all of these offers.

“ASC has also suggested engaging the services of the Fair Work Commissioner to review employee claims and mandate an outcome, however the Unions and their members have also rejected this.”

ASC said there were instances where ASC’s South Australian workforce transfers knowledge to their WA counterparts in all areas of its business to support operational requirements.

Further reading:
Essential submarine workers strike over unequal pay
BAE Systems, ASC to construct Australian n-submarines

Picture: ASC

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