GTS drivers to have say on enterprise bargaining

Fair Work Australia calls for GTS Freight Management drivers to vote on whether they support enterprise bargaining

By Brad Gardner | August 10, 2012

Truck drivers at GTS Freight Management will be balloted this month to gauge support among the workforce for enterprise bargaining negotiations.

Fair Work Australia Commissioner Tim Lee gave the go-ahead for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to conduct the ballot after the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and GTS disputed the level of employee support for bargaining.

The union claims 60 employees, currently working under the expired GTS Freight Management Pty Ltd Enterprise Agreement, will be covered by the new agreement and that a petition of workers shows a majority (39 drivers) support bargaining.

But GTS Administration Manager Tina Smyth says 10 of the 39 signatures on the petition include contractors and drivers who have left the business. She says the agreement will cover 115 people.

Lee says it is hard to determine the level of support for bargaining because many of GTS’s line-haul drivers work away from the company’s base in regional Victoria and it is difficult to contact them.

"I consider it appropriate in this matter to order that the AEC conduct a ballot…in order than I can be satisfied or not as to whether a majority of the employees who will be covered by the proposed agreement want to bargain," he says.

Ballots will be posted to drivers, and GTS is required to provide the AEC with the names and mailing addresses of the relevant employees.

A majority of employees must support enterprise bargaining.

The family-owned GTS is based in Mildura and is a key player in the wine and beverage transport sector. Its list of clients include some the largest food and beverage companies, including Fosters, Schweppes, Woolworths and Coles.

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