ARTIO expands, ATA NSW not worried

ARTIO increases presence in NSW, gaining approval to directly represent trucking companies on industrial relations matters

By Brad Gardner

The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation has increased its presence in NSW, gaining approval to directly represent trucking companies on industrial relations matters.

The ARTIO’s NSW branch today announced it had gained registration under the NSW Industrial Relations Act, less than two weeks away from the introduction of new workplace laws.

ARTIO’s secretary and treasurer, Hugh McMaster, says the ability to front the NSW Industrial Relations Commission is a boon for the organisation’s members.

"We can now appear on behalf of a member to deal with any concerns they have," McMaster says.

"Over half our members engage sub-contractors who are covered by one or more contract determinations which are the subject of conciliation and arbitration under the NSW industrial relations system."

The announcement adds another option in NSW for companies wanting industrial relations representation, with the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association also dealing with workplace issues.

But while McMaster says ARTIO is now "at the forefront of ensuring the industry’s voice is heard", Jill Lewis from the ATA NSW says the group’s members are pleased with the level of industrial relations representation they receive.

Unlike ARTIO, the ATA NSW relies on the Australian Industry Group to champion its interests and has no plans to change the setup.

"Everyone is happy with the arrangements in place," ATA NSW manager Jill Lewis says.

"ATA NSW has had a very longstanding relationship with the Ai Group."

ARTIO’s new powers come as the industry prepares to comply with new provisions under the Fair Work Act, to be introduced on July 1.

Under the Act, unions will have greater access to trucking yards and the ability to hold onsite meetings with union and non-union staff.

From July, unions only need to be suspicious of a breach to enter a workplace and seize relevant documents and records.

Individuals who refuse to comply can be fined up to $6,600.

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