Toll stands by accusations against workers

Toll stands by allegations of misconduct it levelled against three of its Australian employees

Toll stands by accusations against workers
Toll stands by accusations against workers
By Brad Gardner | June 15, 2012

Toll has stood by allegations of misconduct levelled against three of its Australian employees in the wake of a critical Fair Work Australia ruling against the company.

The employees, who are Transport Workers Union (TWU) delegates, were part of a group accused of physically threatening, intimidating and abusing Toll’s US staff during a rally in Los Angeles to support the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in its dispute with the company.

The TWU and the delegates have denied the accusations, and Fair Work Commissioner Ian Cambridge chastised Toll for publicly accusing its workers of wrongdoing in a press release before conducting an investigation.

He ruled that the matter could be dealt with under the dispute resolution procedure outlined in the 2011 enterprise agreement between the TWU and Toll.

"Toll stands by its March 9 media statement, and looks forward to discussing the issue further with the union if and when appropriate," a spokesman for Toll says.

"Following Fair Work Australia’s decision, Toll expects that the parties will now implement and follow the dispute resolution provisions in our enterprise agreement."

The agreement outlines steps aggrieved parties must take when dealing with a dispute. This includes an individual discussing their problems with their immediate supervisor and then taking the matter higher up the chain if they do not get an acceptable outcome.

Fair Work will intervene if both parties cannot reach an agreement.

"Unless the expected dispute resolution process fails to resolve the dispute, further Fair Work Australia involvement should not be required," Toll’s spokesman says.

Toll did investigate the incident in the US but decided not to take any action against the three employees. Cambridge says the company needs to state why it chose not to pursue the matter.

"If its investigation did not provide sufficient basis to support the allegations it should be prepared to say so. Toll is a major Australian company and as a respected corporate citizen it has a responsibility to admit mistake if that is what occurred," he says.

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