12:36 pm, Friday 3 August, 2012
The Electrical Trades Union is threatening a Federal Court action against an engineering company after workers were exposed to asbestos at a work site in Queensland.
AAP reported that several workers at the Curtis Island liquefied natural gas plant were exposed to asbestos this week.
The site was immediately quarantined but ETU released a statement today alleging that the gas firm was trying to cut workers’ pay because of time lost from the asbestos discovery.
“Our members were facing an imminent risk to their health and safety through being exposed to white asbestos…. (and) they refused to work in the affected areas until they were given the all clear,” said ETU assistant secretary, Peter Ong.
“The company have come back and said, ‘yes, we now have testing that shows that you have been exposed, but we are not going to pay for your time lost, because you were taking unprotected industrial action’.”
Mr Ong confirmed that ETU is considering Federal Court action after a Fair Work Australia hearing did not resolve the dispute.
The company has not yet released a statement over the allegations.