In a move which is reminiscent of the bad old days, the TEEU are attempting to impose unrealistic pay rates and once again strangle the entire electrical contracting industry and deem decent electrical contractors criminals. In an attempt to bring in a new Sectorial Employment Order (SEO) under the terms of the flawed 2015 Industrial Relations Amendment Act, the union has submitted documents which not only discount NECIs legitimate right to have a say into the Industry in which we operate, the union has claimed to represent over 8000 workers in an Industry which has 11500 total employees.
These figures which are clearly inaccurate, are backed up by nothing. In a further insult to the thousands of small electrical contractors who operate in the sector, the TEEU has decided that it will only determine terms and conditions with the unrepresentative employer parties ECA (29 Members) and AECI (184 Members). All electrical contractors must register with Safe Electric and the membership of Safe Electric has been independently confirmed at in excess of 4000.
It is therefore clear that the TEEU consider that the 3787 contractors who have decided not to be members of the ECA and the AECI are not entitled to any say in their Industry. Never the less if the TEEU are successful, the terms they agree with the unrepresentative employer bodies will apply to all contractors. Past experience tells us that we can have little faith in the Labour Court considering the opinions of the small contractor. The Labour Court happily facilitated the TEEU in the past when small electrical contractors were nailed to the cross under the terms of an unconstitutional Registered Employment Agreement (REA) into which they never had any say and indeed most were unaware of.
It is time to rise again as we did in the past when we cleansed our industry of the previous REA and of EPACE. NECI have once again engaged a legal team and will stop at nothing to strike down the attempt to impose a one size fits all agreement on our diverse industry. Now is the time to support your trade association once again, let the battle commence.
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