The Transport Workers’ Union will oppose a move by Toll in the Fair Work Commission over work stoppages after thousands of workers challenged management on cuts to their working hours and conditions.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said that workers had been holding meetings across the country today to support action against the company after talks stalled on a new agreement.
John said anger was mounting over cuts Toll want to make to working hours in the enterprise agreement, which the company has already begun implementing at two sites. As a result of the lengthy meetings, Toll has notified the TWU it will apply to the Fair Work Commission over what it deemed were work stoppages.
TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said transport workers today were demanding that management explain its stance and the attacks on people’s livelihoods.
“These workers want to ensure a productive company and quality jobs and they are willing to challenge management,” he said.
“The anger at Toll follows gross problems by the previous management team which saw jobs cuts and a write-down of the company. This anger is beginning to boil over given current management’s stance at the negotiating table.”
The TWU will tell the Fair Work Commission the heated meetings over-ran because of tensions over the cuts Toll is planning.
Negotiations on a new enterprise agreement began in March and have reached an impasse over cuts to working hours and the hiring of casuals and labour hire workers. Transport workers will next week begin voting to take action which will include bans on over-time, call backs and paper work and 24-hour work stoppages.
Talks also stalled on attempts to limit the range of disputes employees can seek redress on at the Fair Work Commission. Workers are also concerned by moves to end supply chain auditing, which ensure every worker carting for Toll, including those employed by sub-contractors, receive safe and fair working conditions.
“The company has separately embarked on critical operational and management restructuring. While those steps need to be applauded the company should not follow the same worn path that was taken by previous failed management,” he added.