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FWC rules union work stoppage improper

Commission concurs with earlier ruling, orders TWU not to organise industrial action at Toll facility

 

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has confirmed its previous “ex tempore decision”and ordered the Transport Workers Union (TWU’s) New South Wales branch to not organise further industrial action at Toll Transport’s Bungarribee depot.

The decision is in relation to an application submitted by Toll on October 13 to stop its employees from engaging in “stop work meeting” as a bargaining tool to force the company pay two union members who had submitted incorrect invoices.

Toll states that two sub-contractors had handed in incorrect payment invoices and failed to rectify the error even when asked by the company, leading it to not process the two invoices.

This resulted in the union delegates threatening to hold industrial action at the site if the outstanding invoices were not processed by 5pm the same day.

FWC deputy president PJ Sams notes:

“It is apparent that the catalyst which led to the stoppage of work was the non-payment of two invoices to two contractors engaged by the applicant. The stoppage of work appears to have been organised in an attempt to place pressure on the applicant to pay these two invoices. It is curious that this issue was the trigger for the unauthorised stop work meeting; given that the delay in payment was caused, not by the applicant, but by the errors of the contractors. Moreover, the delegates had been advised that the invoices were to be paid and, in fact, one of the disputed invoices had been paid the day before.

The Commission notes that there appear to be “a number of other issues which were raised that lie beneath the dispute and which may have led to the stoppage of work”.

Deputy president Sams concurs with its decision and order made on October 13, ruling that TWU members must not organise further industrial action on account of this case.

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