Toyota Material Handling in court over workplace agreements


Fair Work Ombudsman hauls Toyota Material Handling to court over allegations it put pressure on employees to sign workplace agreements

July 20, 2011

Toyota Material Handling has been hauled before a court accused of threatening four employees with a loss of work unless they signed workplace agreements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges manager Peter Wilson in 2009 told Newcastle workers they would be rostered off their continuous shift work positions if they did not sign. The workers subsequently signed the agreements.

In documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court, the Ombudsman alleges one of the workers had suffered duress previously.

It says former manager Paul Hughes told him in 2006 he would lose his job if he did not sign a workplace agreement. The Ombudsman says the worker signed.

Toyota Material Handling will also face accusations of failing to follow correct procedures on workplace agreements, including giving employees seven days to consider the documents and providing information statements.

Toyota Material Handling faces maximum penalties of $33,000 for each workplace breach, while Wilson and Hughes face fines of up to $6,600.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says it is important employers negotiate lawfully with employees in an environment free of duress and illegitimate pressure.


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