Brisbane City Council puts public health and safety at risk by locking out electricians

The Electrical Trades Union has condemned Brisbane City Council for spitefully putting the Brisbane public’s health and safety at risk by locking out its electrical division during EBA negotiations.

Council locked out 25 electricians at 12.01am on Sunday in response to minor industrial action taken by the workers.

On Friday electricians took part in paper work bans and put a ban on minor work tasks in an attempt to have their claims heard during the EBA negotiation process.

ETU Queensland and NT Organiser Brenton Muller said the workers had been ignored by management during negotiations, when they raised concerns about Council’s “flexible rostering” proposal, which would allow Council to force workers to work shifts on any day or night of the week, at any time, with limited notice.

Mr Muller said Council’s decision to lock out workers in response had put the Brisbane public’s health and safety at risk.

“Now Brisbane City Council have locked out these workers, they will be unable to provide any emergency response to problems on the City’s traffic signal network,” he said.

“If traffic lights go out with these workers locked out – they won’t be available to fix them and you can imagine the traffic chaos that will cause.”

Mr Muller said the electricians had gone five years without a pay rise from Council but management were still pushing to diminish their working conditions.

“These electricians are already flexible and work when they are needed to, but Council is trying to pass a condition that they can dictate when they have to work 24/7 with zero consultation,” he said.

“The actions of Brisbane City Council during these negotiations are reprehensible to say the least.

“It is hard to see who Council have less respect for – their workers or the Brisbane public.”

Mr Muller called on Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor Graham Quirk to pull Council management into line and allow these electricians to return to work.

“These electricians are ready and willing to work. They want to perform the emergency tasks to keep the city’s traffic network operating safely – but Council will not let them,” he said.

Further information please contact: Brenton Muller 0428 392 935 or Dan Nancarrow 0448 633 858