Staff strike at Qld defence force bases

·2-min read

Cleaners and support staff at north Queensland defence bases have walked off the job after negotiations for a pay deal fell through.

Pay negotiations have been ongoing for over a year, with many staff working more hours throughout the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

Contract cleaners, groundkeepers and range operators at the RAAF Garbutt and Lavarack Barracks in Townsville want a deal that recognises the value of their work.

Workers rejected a two per cent pay rise last week and vow they will continue to take industrial action until Spotless Services makes a better offer.

United Workers Union spokesperson Damien Davie says the lack of gratitude shown towards vital defence staff members is astounding.

"When it was the height of COVID-19 it was all hands on deck and these workers showed up every single day to keep the defence force response rolling through the pandemic," he said.

"Yet when it comes to showing them the least amount of respect or giving these workers a fair pay rise, Spotless Services just shuts up shop."

Up to 30 support staff across the two bases ceased work on Monday morning, with another strike set for Wednesday.

Nicole Frisken, a United Workers Union Official says their members won't back down until a fair deal is struck.

"The company has tried to encourage them to say that it's a good offer, but the negotiations have broken down and the workers did not agree with what was put forward to them," she told AAP.

"They feel that they bring quite a lot of value to this company and they're not being treated with any dignity or respect.

"Workers are calling on their contractor to deliver an offer that recognises and values what they contribute to the organisation and to the safety of defence personnel."

No statement has been issued from the defence bases regarding the strikes.

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