TWU will strike again if AAE doesn't give in

TWU will plan another nationwide stoppage if Australian Air Express refuses to agree to new enterprise agreement

By Brad Gardner | November 22, 2010

The Transport Workers Union has warned of another strike against freight carrier Australian Air Express unless it agrees to wage and superannuation increases.

The TWU last week held 24-hour stoppages at AAE depots across Australia to pressure the company into increasing wages by 16 percent over three years and committing to superannuation rises.

Union delegate Billy Berka says workers are justified in seeking wage increases because staff agreed to delay negotiations last year to help AAE recover from the global financial crisis.

When asked what the union will do if AAE refuses to accept the TWU’s demands, Berka responded: "There will be another stoppage."

"The guys took zero the year before so you’ve got to fully understand that," he says.

"We’re not turning around asking for anything out of the ordinary. I don’t believe I’m a person of character who turns around and thinks people should get something more than they deserve."

Strikes were held at AAE depots in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

"It has effect across Australia. That’s why we did it nationally…It’s delaying the freight, which is a benefit to us," Berka says.

The TWU is also in negotiations with big-name trucking operators such as Toll, Linfox and K&S Freighters. The union wants an 8 percent pay increase for workers over two years and a commitment from operators to increase superannuation each year until it reaches 15 percent.

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