Nyrstar set for industrial turmoil

Unions representing Operators at Nyrstar Hobart have said industrial turmoil at the site is imminent as the company moves to cut wages and conditions of employees.

Nyrstar are taking steps that have been described by CFMEU Officials as “unprecedented action” in moving to terminate the workplace agreement, an agreement that has been in existence at Nyrstar for around 20 years.

“The effect of the agreement being terminated means a huge reduction in the take home pay for employees” said CFMEU Official, Richie Hassett.

“It will be a cut to wages, redundancy provisions and shift rates. Workers will be forced back onto the Award.”

"We have been asking to rollover the current agreement, something that to date the company has totally rejected.”

“This is all about a planned savage cut to employee numbers to occur later in the year. For long term employees to suffer a reduction to redundancy entitlements when facing the likelihood of the sack will be demoralising.”

With a reported profit last financial year of around $80m, and a company forecasts provided to shareholders tipping a 50% increase in price for product, moves to reduce wages for the workforce is unnecessary."

“Nyrstar enjoys a Tasmanian taxpayer funded subsidy every year in the form of a massive electricity discount. To treat the Tasmanian community with such disrespect is just unacceptable.”

“The effect on the broader community through either a wage reduction or mass redundancies will be devastating,” Mr Hassett concluded.