Toll faces strike as negotiations break down

TWU seeks approval for industrial action against Toll after talks on a new enterprise bargaining agreement reach an impasse

July 5, 2013

Toll is facing the prospect of its workforce walking off the job after negotiations with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) on a new enterprise agreement hit an impasse.

The TWU has applied to the Fair Work Commission to ballot more than 8,500 Toll workers nationwide on industrial action to pressure the company to relent to union demands for higher wages and superannuation and greater job security.

Toll management and union officials are still unable to come to an agreement on a new deal for workers, despite beginning negotiations in April.

"Talks between the TWU member-led negotiation team and management at Toll have broken down over a number of critical issues including job security, outsourcing, safety, superannuation and wages," TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says.

"Following the overwhelming endorsement from thousands of Toll workers at yards in every state and territory in the country, we have now applied to the Fair Work Commission to ballot on all forms of industrial action."

The TWU is seeking annual 4 percent pay increases and for superannuation contributions to reach 15 percent by the end of the agreement. Toll has offered a 0.75 percent increase in superannuation and 3 percent pay increases.

The TWU is demanding equal rates of pay for all people working at Toll sites across the country. It believes extending site rates beyond Toll’s New South Wales operations is necessary to maintain the job security of its members.

"This is a real deal breaker," TWU negotiating member Mark Walker says.

Talks also hit a stalemate over coverage of the new enterprise agreement. The TWU wants it applied to all new Toll work to stop the company from applying greenfield agreements when establishing new business units.

Sheldon claims greenfield agreements come with inferior rates, conditions and safety standards.

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