TWU continues campaign against TNT

TWU begins another 24-hour strike against TNT as ACTU accuses the company of undervaluing its workers

TWU continues campaign against TNT
TWU continues campaign against TNT
February 22, 2011

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is waging another 24-hour strike against TNT Express, as the protracted stoush between both parties shows no sign of ending.

The latest strike follows last week’s 24-hour stoppage against TNT across Australia to pressure the company into accepting higher wages and superannuation benefits for workers.

ACTU President Ged Kearney joined TWU members on the picket line to chastise TNT for refusing union demands.

"The fact that TNT refused to negotiate with these drivers indicates their lack of consideration for the very people that contribute to the millions of dollars in profit the company received last year," Kearney says.

Kearney wants labour hire workers to be made permanent so they have access to annual leave, sick pay and overtime penalties.

"These workers deserve to be treated with respect and should be entitled to permanency for the loyalty they’ve shown TNT," she says.

Following claims of violence against its members last week, TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says police will be called in.

Despite TNT strenuously denying the allegations, the union accused TNT contractors or using their trucks to ram TWU members.

"This sort of intimidation is not acceptable in Australia or anywhere else. In the current EBA negotiations, TNT has the capacity to pay safe site rates to all drivers, whether they are direct hire employees or through labour hire," Sheldon says.

Both parties have agreed on an annul 4 percent pay rise, but TNT is refusing to increase superannuation benefits beyond the government mandated target. The TWU wants a 1 percent increase each year until superannuation payments reach 15 percent.

"An extra one per cent superannuation for all employees and further increases over the coming years would allow members to retirement with dignity," Sheldon says.

In a statement posted on its website, TNT apologised to customers affected by disruptions. The union last week claimed strikes affected a number of operations despite TNT claiming most depots were running at full capacity.

While saying contingency plans have been made, TNT has urged customers to withhold all non-urgent freight until the strike ends.

"We are engaged in vigorous and ongoing negotiations in an attempt to reach an agreement with the TWU and we are hopeful an in-principle agreement will be reached shortly," the TNT statement says.

TNT Managing Director Bob Black has so far rejected the TWU’s demands on the basis the company cannot afford them.

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