Prime Minister visits GEOCON Wayfarer site
19 April 2016
A construction site in Canberra that employs a non-unionised enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) became a political platform today for Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull visited GEOCON’s Wayfarer site this morning where he announced that yesterday’s outcome in Parliament – where the Senate rejected two Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) bills – would trigger a double dissolution election on Saturday, July 2.
During a press conference, Mr Turnbull advocated the Government’s plans to restore the ABCC – a move that is supported by Managing Director of GEOCON Nick Georgalis if it helps improve safety and productivity in the industry
“More productivity means more jobs and more profitability for businesses,” Mr Georgalis said.
GEOCON is one of Canberra’s largest organisations to have negotiated a company-specific EBA with employees at its Wayfarer project earlier this year.
With the project heading to the pointy end of construction, Mr Georgalis said it is proof that employers can effectively work with employees to establish EBAs that are mutually beneficial.
“Our workers supported a non-union agreement because it enables us to pay higher wages with better conditions and more flexible working arrangements, and that’s better for them and us,” he said.
“That flexibility has allowed us to trade on site for an extra 20 working days a year, which obviously increases productivity.
“And the ability to engage with a wider choice of top notch providers for things like training and insurance, instead of being locked into union providers, means we can negotiate better outcomes for the training and safety of our workers.
“It’s a win-win scenario.”