Construction and property development giant Lend Lease is back in discussions with the nation’s building union in an attempt to resolve an industrial dispute which has seen workers down their tools for the past two days, media reports suggest.
A report in The Australian on Wednesday says that both the company and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) were back in discussions and that union secretary Dave Noonan is hopeful of an agreement.
The report follows moves by the construction giant to appeal against a decision by Fair Work Australia to grant the CMFEU permission to conduct a two day strike on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The company says the union’s bid for an ‘employment security-contracting out’ clause requiring the company to offer sub-contractors the same pay and conditions as union employees, was not permitted under the Fair Work Act.
The union wants such a clause inserted into a new enterprise agreement to counter ‘sham contracting’ – the practice of hiring individuals who are in effect employees as contractors so as to avoid having to pay employee entitlements.
Previously, the union has claimed that such practices are ‘rife’ at building sites operated by Lend Lease.
Around 160 union members walked off the job at Lend Lease sites yesterday following a breakdown in negotiations over an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.
On Tuesday night, the company hear that its appeal application had been reserved.