TNT facing legal action for refusing to pay workers kept out by floods
Release date: 26/01/2011
TRANSPORT giant TNT faces legal action after workers in Brisbane were told to cash in annual leave for two days despite being ordered by the company not to attend work due to the floods.
Ewin Hannan, Industrial editor, The Australian
The Transport Workers Union yesterday initiated proceedings in Fair Work Australia, accusing the company of engaging in "disgraceful conduct".
The union's federal secretary, Tony Sheldon, said TNT told staff at its Brisbane airport depot two weeks ago not to come to work because of the floods, then refused to pay them for the two days. "This is a Singaporean-dominated company that just does not understand the Australian concept of a fair go," Mr Sheldon said. "Here we have an entire community pulling together to help each other out during a major crisis, and this company refuses to pay employees after telling them not to attend.
"On top of that, a quarter of the workforce had shift payments refused when called in for a night shift. This is the definition of kicking someone when they're down, and it can't be tolerated."
According to the union application to the tribunal, TNT told dockhands at the airport depot not to come to work on January 10 due to the floods, and the site was also closed on January 11.
The dockhands were asked if they wanted to use annual leave or rostered days off as pay for the compulsory closure. The [company] alleges administrative staff were paid for one of the days.
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