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John Berger, Branch Assistant Secretary said, “The Union’s priorities have not changed, they are job security, quality Australian jobs and fair wage increases.”
“The action taken by Allan Joyce to lock out his workers and hold the country to ransom by shutting the airline down was wilful and extreme.”
The Union is has always been prepared to bargain in good faith with Qantas and its management. Fair Work Australia decision on 31 October stated that:
“It is unlikely that the protected industrial action taken by the three unions, even taken together, is threatening to cause significant damage to the tourism and air transport industries. The response industrial action of which Qantas has given notice, if taken, threatened to cause significant damage to tourism and air transport industries and indirectly to industry generally because of the effect on consumers of air passenger and cargo services.”
The dispute was over TNT's refusal to recognize the long standing arrangements of the bonus scheme put in place by the Union back in 2001. TNT senior management were not prepared to honor the 2001 bonus scheme and were fighting for a new bonus scheme of 2009 which was never entered into by the Union members.
In an embarrassing result for senior managers at TNT, FWA ordered TNT to recognize the bonus scheme of 2001 in its meetings schedule and deeming provision with the agreed revisions to the KPIs and targets.
In a 3 day hearing at Fair Work Australia (FWA) on 4 – 6 November 2011, FWA upheld the employees’ bonus scheme in attachments 2 and 3 of the TNT Express Victoria Metro Enterprise Agreement 2001 (The Agreement).
TNT was represented at the hearing by Blake Dawson solicitors and barrister James McDougall. TNT Senior Managers Bob McKenzie and Rod Barnes gave evidence for TNT. Union delegates Kevin Hoey and Neil Cockerell with John Englehart and Branch Senior Organiser Chris Fennell gave evidence for the TWU. The Union was represented by Bill Baarini, General Counsel.
Despite arguments to the contrary by TNT, Deputy President Ives in his decision of 8 November 2011 found in favour of the TWU in that:
Interestingly, Deputy President Ives in his decision found (transcript edited extract):
At paragraph 8: When one considers the potentially or apparently differing requirements placed upon the review committee alluded to in the 2 November [TNT memo] memo as opposed to the requirements placed upon the KPI committee referred to in attachment 3 there is no basis for any finding that the 2 November memo requirements necessarily displace the requirements placed on the KPI committee in attachment 3.
At paragraph 9: I am fortified in this finding by the evidence generally but in particular by… that of Mr. Barnes. Mr. Barnes confirmed that at no stage, to his recollection, was it raised with the delegates or employees by the respondent that acceptance of the revised bonus scheme would have the effect of replacing the meeting schedule in Attachment 3 with that provided for in Mr. Mackenzie’s memo. (emphasis added)
What does the decision mean for TWU Union members?
Members should ensure that agreements with TNT are being properly honored by the company. This decision shows that TNT cannot unilaterally change arrangements without proper consultation and agreement of the Union
For enquiries about this matter or any other Union matter contact Union Organisers Dissio Markos on 0411 221 611 and Steve Nash on 0402 039 194.
Branch Assistant Secretary
The Federal Government has introduced its long-awaited Safe Rates legislation into the House of Representatives.
The legislation, titled the Road Safety Remuneration Bill 2011, establishes the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which will have the ability to set pay or pay-related conditions to ensure safe driving practices.
The Government believes that the Tribunal will save lives by ensuring that truck drivers are paid reasonably for the work they do, getting rid of the economic incentive for drivers to take unacceptable risks on our roads.
Around 250 people are killed and more than 1,000 suffer serious injuries on our roads each year in accidents involving trucks. As stated by Ministers Anthony Albanese and Chris Evans in their announcement, truck drivers should not have to speed, overload their trucks, drive excessive hours or cut back on vehicle maintenance to make a decent living.
The introduction of this legislation follows a long-running TWU campaign which resulted in a 2010 report from the National Transport Commission confirming that low rates of pay can lead to risky work practices by drivers to make ends meet. These risky practices include speeding, working long hours and using illicit substances to stay awake.
The truck driving sector continues to have the highest incidence of fatal injuries with 25 deaths per 100,000 workers on the most recent figures – ten times the average for all industries. In 2010, the total cost of heavy vehicle related accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries was $2.7 billion.
The problem is compounded by the extremely competitive nature of the road transport industry where undercutting on rates is common and the absence of an easily accessible national system of regulation of owner driver rates.
The new Tribunal will start work on 1 July, 2012 and will include members from Fair Work Australia along with independent work, health and safety experts.
When the Tribunal determines that a sector of the industry has poor safety outcomes as a result of low remuneration, it will be able to make a Road Safety Remuneration Order to improve the on-road safety outcomes for drivers operating in that sector.
The TWU has been involved in the development of this proposal through its involvement in the Safe Rates Advisory Group which also involved employer representatives.
In general, major road transport employers have been supportive of the concept, as has the Victorian Transport Association.
However, other employer groups such as the Australian Industry Group and major retailers have been predictably hostile. Indications are that the Federal Opposition will find a way to oppose the legislation.
Hence its passage will be dependent on the independents currently holding the balance of power in Canberra.
The Union will be vigorously promoting the legislation to them by stressing that the only people who really benefit from starvation level rates in the road transport industry are the cowboys and fly-by-nighters who specialise in exploitation.
Wayne Mader with Prime Minister Julia Gillard in front of the thankyou card presented to the Gillard Government for the Road Safety Remuneration Bill 2011 by the Newton family - Steve, his wife Eva and their granddaughter Brianna.
"I got a lot out of our visit to Worksafe, I believe consultation with Rep's and HSR's from the floor is a major
stepforward for any industry. It shows a ongoing commitment from Worksafe
to reduce workplace incidents...." Ashley Mappin, HSR Toll Liquids
"We had the chance to meet with several managers from the different areas within Worksafe. This allowed us as HSR's to voice issues and concerns in relation to our areas of employment. The managers were showing a lot of interest in what we perceived to be critical issues at the moment. The HSR's were then taken to the Worksafe call centre which is the initial point of contact, when the advisory line is called. We listened into incoming calls, witnessed how the operators managed the calls and how they referred them onto the inspectors.I'd like to thank Eugene Richards for organising the visit, and would strongly encourage all HSR's to attend one of these meetings if they are given the opportunity. " Andrew Bishop, HSR - Toll Liquids
"The WorkSafe visit was a great success, I got so much out of the depth that WorkSafe, this more so why HSR’s are needed in the work place, Clayton thanks for your hospitality throughout the day , made the HSR’s feel quite welcome." Lawrie Thomas, HSR - Woolworths Logistics