“Employees are very angry and very disappointed at the level of intransigence on vital issues. The overwhelming response from the workforce is to seek protected action to demand that Toll begins to see sense. The company has refused to budge on major issues that will affect the livelihoods of transport workers and their ability to support their families. This is about ensuring that Toll retains an experienced, well-trained workforce which has safety and productivity as its number one priority,” said TWU National Assistant Secretary Michael Kaine.
“Workers have shown incredible patience with the company during these negotiations and our member-led team has negotiated in good faith. This follows serious concerns when the full scale of previous mismanagement was revealed and job cuts were announced. This patience is now running thin and members have decided the only choice they have is to prepare for action in order to protect quality jobs at Toll and to ensure the company’s future prospects,” he added.
Transport workers reached an impasse following months of negotiations over attempted cuts to their working hours and the hiring of casuals and labour hire workers. Talks also stalled on attempts to limit the range of disputes employees can seek redress on at the Fair Work Commission. Workers are also concerned by moves to end supply chain auditing, which ensure every worker carting for Toll, including those employed by sub-contractors, receive safe and fair working conditions.
The TWU has been consulting with transport workers at Toll on the next steps they wish to take. The protected action ballot is expected to be approved by workers within the coming weeks. Transport workers will then be able to take a range of actions, from bans on over-time, call backs and paper work to 24-hour work stoppages.