Allied Health Activist – February 7, 2019
In this edition:
Esso Longford Dispute – 596 days going and (still) counting
There is a small town in the Gippsland region of eastern Victoria that most people have probably never heard of, let alone visited. This town is Longford. Longford is home to Esso (ExxonMobil) Longford Gas Plant; which has been the flashpoint for an ongoing dispute that has now lasted (as of writing) for 596 days.
For way of background, Esso contractor UGL, in a joint venture with another company, employed skilled maintenance workers to maintain the Longford Gas Plant equipment.
UGL won this contract outright in 2017 and offered the workers their jobs back on reduced pay and conditions under a new agreement, via its newly created subsidiary MTCT Services. To add further insult, the sham agreement that these workers were expected to work under was “voted up” by just five casual MTCT workers in Western Australia.
Representatives from VAHPA spent the day on the front line of the dispute on Thursday, January 24, to support the efforts of and give solidarity to the workers.
Many of these workers concede that they will never get their jobs back; however, they continue to fight on with the understanding that it isn’t about them, but about working rights of everyone; including the rights and conditions of younger workers.
The defiance of these workers is truly an example to us all as union members but is also another of many examples of the rules around industrial relations being broken. You can follow the dispute via its website, as well as via its Facebook page.