TWU strike action against Scott's a step closer

Scott's employees back TWU push for strikes over a proposed workplace agreement

By Brad Gardner | April 28, 2010

The Scott’s Group may soon have a union-led strike on its hands in its petroleum division in Melbourne after employees backed a proposed workplace stoppage.

Workers earlier this month voted in favour of a protected ballot to push for more entitlements under a new workplace agreement.

Under the ballot issued by the Victorian branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), employees will not work more than seven hours a day from Monday to Friday and will not work on the weekend.

Workers will also refuse regular duties during stoppages, except when supplying fuel to emergency services.

"I am advised that the Scott’s Petroleum ballot for protected action did get up, but that no action has yet been forthcoming," a spokesman for the Victorian TWU says.

"That is the current state of play."

The TWU has proposed stoppage actions, from four hours to indefinite if workers to do not get their way. It must give three days notice.

There is no limit on how many times the actions can be organised and carried out.

Scott’s tried to get the notification time extended to seven days on the basis it needed a week to notify emergency services of the effect stoppages would have on supplies.

But Fair Work Australia last month rejected Scott’s application.

"The TWU did indicate that it would not be their intention in pursuing industrial action to disrupt the provision of emergency services," Bissett says.

Scott’s application was also dismissed because it did not have a monopoly on supply and its deliveries to emergency services were a small part of the business.

"They are not the sole provider to emergency services nor the sole provider of the product they deliver," Bissett says.

ATN has contacted Scott’s for comment.

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