Union Lobbyists Kick Up Stick In Jimboomba
Release date: 9/07/2014
Union lobbyists kicked up a stink in Jimboomba on Wednesday over the low pay rates of some rubbish truck drivers.
Jimboomba Times, by Natalie Hart, 9 July 2014
Transport Workers Union (TWU) members door-knocked about 50 houses, getting signatures on a petition in support of an increase in pay for rubbish truck drivers working for waste management company JJ Richards and Sons.
They also plastered "I support a better deal for my garbo and their family" stickers on rubbish bins.
TWU waste co-ordinator Craig Williams said JJ Richards and Sons did not have an Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA) with the union, which meant its employees were unable to negotiate their pay.
He said the average hourly pay for rubbish truck drivers in the waste management industry was about $26.60 and JJ Richards paid its employees $24.65.
"What we are doing with our campaign is trying to get the community involved to support the drivers and to show JJs the community thinks it's unfair that they can't negotiate an enterprise agreement and are getting intimidated and bullied," Mr Williams said.
"JJ Richards is one of the biggest waste companies in Queensland and if we don't get them to be fair dinkum and negotiate agreements and get a level playing field with the good companies that do pay the right rates they will take over and it will bring the rate down."
Mr Williams said there were 36 union members employed by JJ Richards living in Logan and 27 had signed an agreement to demand JJ Richards bargain in good faith.
In a response to questions from the Times, a JJ Richards and Sons spokeswoman said it appeared that the TWU concentrated on harassing organisations that refused to toe its line and engage with them on their terms.
"When unable to sell its services through merit to workers, the union uses the media to spread deceit, distraction and lies in an attempt to defame and sully the name of any business who does not enforce membership and dance to its tune," she said.
"With regard to bullying union members, it is just another outrageous lie and they know it. This is union thuggery at its worst."
Questions from the Times to JJ Richards and Sons about why did it not have an EBA with the TWU, its pay rates and whether an EBA would be set up, went unanswered.
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