Toll Dnata Ramp and Cargo staff had already overwhelmingly voted against the company’s proposal for an inferior enterprise bargaining deal when your ASU representatives met with the company and TWU negotiators in Sydney on 31 March 2015. In fact 82.8% of those who voted – voted “NO” to the proposal – a resounding result in anyone’s language.
It was surprising then, that at our first meeting after this vote, management did not come to the table with anything substantive to discuss or any new propositions to put. Instead they came with a statement indicating that they were withdrawing their original offer and there was no new proposal put.
Interstate delegates penalised
At this meeting, while your reps listed what was needed to settle the deal we got few concrete responses other than the company will no longer pay for ASU or TWU delegates from Melbourne and Brisbane to be in the room for negotiations. Instead the company proposes interstate delegates should be in the meeting by telephone.
We think this is unacceptable and told the company representatives this in no uncertain terms. The company likes to say this resulted in a “walkout” – the reality is the company repeated this decision at the end of a long 4 hour meeting after considering its position and the meeting came to an end – nothing left to say. It suits the company to portray it otherwise – ask your delegates who were there for the facts.
The company decision was even more annoying given that they have now engaged a “NEW” consultant to be involved in the bargaining – someone who costs money and who has not been at any previous meetings. If the company wants to cost cut why do they need another consultant?
The company has scheduled another meeting for the Ramp & Cargo agreement negotiations on 15th April. We have urged them to release and pay the airfares of 2 ASU Melbourne delegates to attend the meeting. We are awaiting their reply.
Business end of the season
We want to finalise an agreement and want to genuinely bargain but the company in response withdraws its offer and puts nothing in return. Your delegates have been listening to you and understand enough is enough and as a result the ASU commenced proceedings on Wednesday 8th April to get authorisation from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to allow ASU members to take protected action if they want to.
To be able to take protected industrial action the FWC must order a ballot of ASU members to vote about the type of action they are prepared to take.
We asked the FWC to approve a vote of ASU members to take the following protected industrial action:
- An unlimited number of indefinite bans on the working of overtime
- An unlimited number of stoppages of work for 4 hours
- An unlimited number of stoppages of work for 8 hours
- An unlimited number of stoppages of work for 24 hours
- An unlimited number of stoppages of work for 48 hours
- An unlimited number of stoppages of work for seven days
- An unlimited number of indefinite stoppages of work
Voting on the type of action you are prepared to take is the first stage of the process. The ASU recommends voting YES to each of the types of action – members can then decide on the type of action we want to take and when we take it.
We understand that the TWU has also made an application for their members to vote on what action they will take.
We are waiting on the FWC approval of the ballot of members – when this happens we will issue a further bulletin about the voting process and what to do.
In the meantime please make sure both the company and the ASU have your updated contact details and that these are the same.