There has been a mass walkout at Bechtel’s Yarwun 2 refinery construction site over safety concerns.
According to the Gladstone Observer, the walkout was due to the company allegedly failing to listen to the worker’s worries over safety regarding the Queensland region’s recent storms.
Talks between the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and company management have begun.
AMWU Gladstone state organizer Phil Golby stated that the workers concerns related to serious safety issues, such as the company not alerting workers when danger was around regarding lightening strikes and thunder.
“There are a lot of cranes out there sitting up in the air which are excellent lightening rods,” Golby told the Observer.
“People have to work on elevated platforms, at heights during these storms.”
The Yarwun 2 site is part of Rio Tinto Yarwun alumina refinery expansion, which will increase capacity at the refinery from 1.4 to 3.4 million tonnes per year of alumina.
Construction of the site passed the halfway mark in mid 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2012.