Fair Work intervenes in EBA stoush

Fair Work Australia intervenes in EBA stoush between TWU and waste transporter United Resource Management

By Brad Gardner | November 15, 2010

Waste transporter United Resource Management has been ordered to the negotiation table to resolve a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement with the Transport Workers Union.

Fair Work Australia last week decided to intervene in the issue, which has stalled due to a lack of formal communication between the company and the TWU since July this year.

The union accuses the operator of failing to properly participate in negotiations, while United Resource Management claims there is no evidence showing it has not met requirements under the Fair Work Act.

"The history of the communications between the parties to date has revealed that at different times the conduct of both parties could be criticised as being unlikely to assist the prospects for successfully concluding an enterprise agreement," Commissioner Ian Cambridge says.

"Consequently…it would appear necessary in the circumstances to make orders requiring the parties to participate in negotiations…"

United Resource Management will now be required to provide the TWU a written response to each of the terms outlined in the proposed agreement by no later than November 26.

Cambridge has also ordered the company to meet with the TWU at least once every three weeks from December 6 to March 31 next year unless an agreement is reached. The ruling took effect on November 12 and will run until March 31 unless Fair Work Australia revokes it.

After communication between the union and United Resource Management broke down, the TWU organised industrial action for August 13 and notified the company of further action.

The union accused the company of taking action against two employees because they were involved in the August strike.

"One of the general protection dispute notifications has been discontinued and the other has proceeded to a general protections court application," Cambridge says.

The trucking operator was adamant it was entitled to take "a hard or inflexible position" toward enterprise bargaining and that its position did not demonstrate a failure to act in good faith.

The NSW-based company is mostly involved in domestic waste and recycling services. It also runs bulk transport operations.

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