19 February 2024

ETU demands apology from CDU Vice Chancellor amid blame game
The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) demands an apology from Charles Darwin University (CDU) Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman after he blamed workers for the delayed CDU CBD campus handover from builders to the university.
The Vice Chancellor claimed that ETU members taking industrial action was the reason the university building would not open its doors as planned, however workers on the project only commenced protected industrial action on 24 January and have only participated in one hour of full stoppages.
“Anyone can tell you this project has had a significant number of delays and interruptions,” says ETU Organiser Dave “Strawbs” Hayes. “Members have only just started taking action in the last few weeks, with two weeks of partial work bans and only one hour’s stoppage.
“It’s pretty average for the Vice Chancellor to blame this on a handful of workers. We’d like to know what he’s trying to deflect from, and we demand a public apology from the Vice Chancellor to the electrical workers on site.”
Reasons for the prolonged construction time include, delays building the structure, constant design changes, lack of access for workers due to only two lifts being accessible, safety concerns for workers onsite, and some areas recently being shut down over silica dust concerns.
“It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book,” says Mr Hayes. “The Vice Chancellor obviously thought he could get away with blaming workers for what was actually caused by mismanagement higher up.
“It’s unreasonable, and beyond disrespectful to the workers building this project, to have this thrown at them, half the tradies in Darwin have worked on this job it’s been going so long. What’s more, bosses at Halikos have decided to publicly run this line as well.
“Halikos is very aware of the real reason for delays on this job, but they have chosen to run the same line as the Vice Chancellor, to deflect blame away from themselves. Halikos and the Vice Chancellor are treating our members with contempt, and throwing workers under the bus as scapegoats. It’s despicable, and we demand a public apology from both parties to our members.”

For more, please call Dave “Strawbs” Hayes on 0419 721 042 or Kristin Perissinotto on 0448 633 858.