TWU threatens new strike against TNT

TWU accuses TNT contractors of further violence against protestors and vows more industrial action

TWU threatens new strike against TNT
TWU threatens new strike against TNT
By Brad Gardner | February 17, 2011

TNT is facing another round of crippling industrial action, as the Transport Workers Union accuses the company’s contractors of further violence against its members.

Following a 24-hour national strike yesterday, the TWU says another 24-hour stoppage will be held on February 22 unless TNT resumes stalled enterprise agreement negotiations.

During protests at TNT’s Enfield depot yesterday, the union claimed three of its members were rammed by a TNT-contracted driver instructed by his company to hit protestors. TNT refuted the allegations.

The union is now claiming another member was injured when a truck hit protestors yesterday afternoon.

"By refusing to negotiate with its workforce while contractors are injuring employees at peaceful protests across the country, TNT is showing extraordinary disrespect not just to its workforce, but the entire Australian community," TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says.

The TWU says it is awaiting further information about the man’s condition and that police are searching for the driver and company alleged to have been involved in the previous incident.

TNT General Manager of Marketing and Communications Adrian Castorina has rejected the accusation and says police have not contacted the company about any violent acts against the TWU

"TNT refutes all claims made by the TWU in terms of violence -- period," Castorina says.

He says any accusations of violence should be reported to the police.

In what has been a spiteful and protracted negotiating process, Sheldon has accused TNT of tolerating violence against its workforce.
He wants the Fair Work Ombudsman to investigate what he terms as "acts of wilful violence".

"TNT drivers will again be meeting around the country today to discuss the company’s attitude. However, without any movement on negotiations there will be further industrial action on the company next Tuesday," Sheldon says.

The TWU wants an annual 4 percent pay rise and annual increases to superannuation under a two-year agreement. It is also pushing for site rates for all workers and outside labour hire and the establishment of a safe rates committee.

TNT has agreed to annual 4 percent increases under a three-year agreement but is refusing to lift its superannuation contribution beyond the government-mandated amount.

Although it says it has made a compromise on a safe rates committee, a spokesman for TNT has not been able detail what the decision means.
He says the business is focused on limiting disruptions to its customers.

TNT Managing Director Bob Black has previously claimed that the TWU’s demands would clost the company about $10 million annually.

"Such costs are not sustainable and would put pressure on TNT's viability within Australia," Black claims.

While the union is adamant its efforts have caused significant disruptions to TNT’s operations, the company claims all but four metropolitan depots are running at full capacity.

Castorina has dismissed TWU claims that 1500 workers were involved in yesterday's stoppage. He says about 750 of TNT's 5000 employees took part.

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