Award on the Nose

Release date: 31/05/2012

The Transport Workers Union has vowed to continue to fight for JJ Richards workers after the union named the waste giant Australia's Worst Employer

Matt Johnston, Sunshine Coast Daily, QLD

Members of the TWU marched on the waste collection and disposal group's Tanawha site yesterday and tried to present manager Craig Pickering with a box of rotten tomatoes in protest against, what they allege, to be a culture of bullying at the site.

Mr Pickering told reporters he had no comment, as did representatives from the company's corporate office in Brisbane.

Waste industry co-ordinator of the TWU Queensland branch, Craig Williams, alleged the company had forced an employee returning from absence to stand in a field at the Nambour refuge and blow a whistle for nine hours to scare birds away.

"The employee came in with a full doctor's certificate, but the company said they would get their doctor to assess him and, in the meantime, he was put there to scare the birds away with a whistle," he said.

"Now that is just demeaning for them to have to do this, and we are going to take some of these cases to Fair Work Australia.

"We want to embarrass them and make them wake up to themselves, because they won't deal with us or with their employees and they won't give them a voice."

In another case, the union alleges a driver fell out of her truck in Gladstone and sustained a head injury, but was denied ambulance treatment until a first aid officer had inspected her.

"Another driver on the scene rang the company to tell them to ring an ambulance, but they ordered him to drive her to the first aid officer for treatment," Mr Williams said.

"Once there, the first aid officer said to call an ambulance immediately because she had a head injury. So it took 25 minutes for her to get treatment and that night they visited her in hospital just so she could sign the paperwork."

Chanting "JJ Richards here's your prize, stop risking drivers' lives", the protesters were met at the gates by Mr Pickering, who refused to speak to them or accept the box of tomatoes.

Click here to read this story on the Sunshine Coast Daily website



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