TWU comes knocking as new industrial laws take effect


TWU warns transport operators it will crack down on unfair treatment of employees from July 1

TWU comes knocking as new industrial laws take effect
TWU comes knocking as new industrial laws take effect
By Michael House

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has warned transport operators it will crack down on unfair treatment of employees, as new laws granting unions greater powers come into force on July 1.

The trucking union says it will use its new right of entry provisions to "level the playing field" on industrial matters, but adds that the new laws will not lead to an "attack" on transport operators.

"We will be looking at anyone who is exploiting workers and they can expect to be contacted by the union," TWU Victoria’s assistance branch secretary Wayne Mader tells ATN.

The Fair Work Act, which takes effect from July, allows unions to enter premises on the basis of a suspected breach, while also allowing officials to hold on-site meetings with union and non-union affiliated employees.

"It is essential that people who have been exploited continue to have the benefits as those who have a union agreement."

The Act also permits union officials to seize documents and records relevant to the suspected breach.

"Trucking companies and other organisations who think they have been protected under the workplace legislation can expect a knock on the door, in a business type manner," TWU Queensland Branch Secretary Hughie Williams says.

According to Mader, workers will now have a louder voice and will be given a "fair go" and he predicts many will welcome the Act’s implementation.

"I expect there will be a new wave of confidence from transport workers [after the new laws take place] and we have already seen more members joining up," he says.

Despite the new powers, unions can only enter premises with an official document from Fair Work Australia and must provide 24 hours written notice to employers before doing so.

But law firm Cooper Grace Ward has warned companies to be wary of new right of entry provisions, saying unions may use them as a recruiting tool.

The firm’s Heinz Lepahe says union access to non-union employees has little to do with ensuring workplace safety and "more about unions having access to recruit".





You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook