Alcoa strike leads to notice of motion from Andrew Hastie, criticism from Labor senators

Protest: Alcoa workers protested outside Canning MP Andrew Hastie's Mandurah office earlier this month. Photo: Gareth McKnight
Protest: Alcoa workers protested outside Canning MP Andrew Hastie's Mandurah office earlier this month. Photo: Gareth McKnight

The ongoing Alcoa strike has sparked a war of words between politicians on rival sides, after Canning MP Andrew Hastie gave a notice of motion to parliament calling on the company to provide job security to its Pinjarra workers.

Negotiations over a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement between the Australian Workers Union (AWU) and the multi-national organisation have stalled after 18 months.

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This has led to 1600 workers from Alcoa’s facilities in Pinjarra, Kwinana, Wagerup, Huntly and Willowdale going on indefinite strike – with the industrial action now in its fifth week.

Hundreds of disgruntled workers and residents protested outside Mr Hastie’s office earlier this month, calling on the federal parliamentarian to go in to bat for them in Canberra.

As a result, this week he gave a notice of motion to parliament calling for Alcoa and the AWU to find a solution.

However, the Liberal politician’s actions have been met with scepticism from some of Mr Hastie’s Labor opponents.

WA Senators Louise Pratt and Glenn Sterle, along with Labor’s candidate for Canning in the upcoming federal election Mellisa Teede, released a statement saying Mr Hastie’s actions were “cold comfort” to the striking workers.

“Andrew Hastie’s motion offers and delivers nothing for Alcoa workers and the wider community,” it reads.

“All that Western Australian Alcoa workers and their families want are secure jobs and fair conditions.”

The potential for the current EBA to be terminated will be highlighted on Monday, with a court date set with the Fair Work Commission.

Labor candidate for Canning Mellisa Teede with Bill Shorten at an Alcoa rally last month. Photo: Joshua Cowling.

Labor candidate for Canning Mellisa Teede with Bill Shorten at an Alcoa rally last month. Photo: Joshua Cowling.