Our Nyrstar workers are still in lurch regarding restructure

Negotiations between Nyrstar and the Australian Workers Union are still being held to discuss the restructure that is being proposed for the Port Pirie site.

Speaking last Monday was Mick Hopgood the branch organiser for the Australian Workers Union in Port Pirie who says that after another meeting, they still do not have a solid understanding on what the restructure means for their members. 

Therefore, they have requested another meeting with Nyrstar’s management on February 11. 

“We had a meeting last week with them as well, with respect to the restructure that is happening on site. There were a number of questions that we had with regards to the risk assessment, analysis and the process that they did.

“There are a number of spreadsheets that contain a significant amount of information and we have asked for another meeting which is on February 11 to go through all of those assessments for the whole day, so to make sure that we can have our questions answered and we are not rushed through that process and go through it with due diligence,” Mr Hopgood said. 

When the two parties meet again on Monday February 11, they will spend the day going through the spreadsheets which Mr Hopgood says explains the tasks of the smelter, who is going to do the task, and whether it needs to be allocated to another person. 

“For example if they automate a piece of machinery what else needs to be done by another employee if that machinery is automated. There are so many questions we need to ask next week and try and get some answers out of the company,” he said. 

The union hope for many of their questions to be answered at Monday’s meeting as they are yet to receive any answers regarding their questions and concerns in this whole process. 

Specifically, Mr Hopgood still has concerns regarding manning issues and safety issues. He also says that workers are asking him questions on a weekly basis that they need answered. 

“We have not really had any of our questions answered so far. These spread sheets we know how they are going to do, but we don’t know these extra tasks that are going to be allocated to people, if they are automated, if they break down, if there are contingencies in place if it does break down that work can be done safely and workers are not stressed and over worked.” 

Nyrstar have not commented. 

Many concerns have died down since Nyrstar struck a deal with Trafigura in November but there were also more concerns raised regarding the cyber attack which is reported to have only affected the inter-company email system.