Hard yards but talks on
SECURING a new workplace agreement with fair pay, conditions and safety standards above the award is always a tough job, requiring a strong yard and a committed set of delegates.
Getting a fair agreement is one thing, but implementing it when company management starts to drag its heels can be even harder, as TWU members at Toll IPEC in Western Sydney have been finding out.
Toll management has grand plans to move everyone at IPEC in Moorebank to a new multi-million-dollar site at Bungarribee near Eastern Creek.
But it has been putting road blocks in the way of a new site agreement that will see the transfer of customs and practices built up by drivers during the years.
With inaction from management and an August deadline for cutting the ribbon at Bungarribee fast approaching, TWU members had enough and weren't afraid to push back.
A couple of weeks back, our 400-plus members on site shook up the process by moving our scheduled yard meeting outside the gates and calling management out to address us.
As senior delegate on site, Steve "Skull" Newton explained: "All we want is a site that will function effectively with the current customs that have been in place for years."
"If we can't agree on something soon, we will be staying put at the Moorebank site," he said.
The meeting seems to be the nudge that management needed to restart talks and work in good faith with us towards a new site agreement.
Toll has now made a firm commitment to members to reach an agreement.
While there are plenty of issues that need to be resolved before members walk onto their new site at Bungarribee, this is a step in the right direction.
And if Toll thinks it can stall negotiations or implementation again, members won't be afraid to remind it.