Workers at PKK Mining Equipment at Tomago have walked off the job today for 24 hours calling on their boss to give them a fairer deal.
Employees at the mining equipment company say the owner, Dale McNamara, froze their pay back in 2021 promising it would be lifted after a big merger went through.
The workers say the merger did go through and the company is making big profits, but their wages remain frozen.
Dale McNamara is a prominent businessman in the Hunter as well as a politician – he ran as the One Nation candidate for the Upper Hunter by-election in 2021 and ran as an Independent in the most recent state election.
PKK workers have been rallying at Tomago this morning before they walk off site.
The Australian Worker’s Union (AWU) has been rallying with them. AWU organiser Cameron Wright said they are trying to negotiate a better deal for the workers.
“There has been a wage offer made but its not nearly enough to make up for the cost of living pressures that our members are facing and also the two years of the wage freeze they’ve just gone through.”
Cameron said they have asked for a ten per cent pay increase in the first year and then five per cent in the second and third year.
“We are willing to compromise on that, we are willing to sit around the table and find a sensible middle ground but that is our starting position.
“Late yesterday afternoon, they effectively offered an 11 per cent increase over five years.
“We’d just be happy for sensible negotiations, we want to get around the table and find a compromise,” Cameron said.