TWU in a huff over DP World's drug and alcohol policy


Commission rejects union bid to drag trucking operators and DP World to meeting on DP's proposed drug and alcohol policy

TWU in a huff over DP World's drug and alcohol policy
TWU in a huff over DP World's drug and alcohol policy
By Brad Gardner | July 11, 2013

DP World’s plan to introduce drug and alcohol testing at its Port Botany site has ran into opposition, but a union bid to drag the stevedore and trucking operators to a meeting to discuss the policy has failed.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) reacted negatively to DP’s decision to introduce a new testing regime for all people entering its terminal, claiming there was a lack of meaningful consultation.

It wanted a multilateral drug and alcohol agreement put in the place with input from stevedores, trucking companies, unions, the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) and the Sydney Ports Corporation.

It claimed the policy, which includes penalties for those who fail tests or refuse to take them, threatened to create an industrial dispute because it could interrupt the work of contract carriers or cause them to breach their contracts.

The TWU turned to the Industrial Relations Commission for a ruling to require all parties to attend a conference, but Justice Anna Backman dismissed the application.

"The threatened industrial dispute concerns both DPW’s [DP World’s] proposed implementation of its Policy and the subject matter of that Policy. There is little evidence upon which the Commission can be satisfied to the requisite standard of reasonable belief that the dispute might lead to the contract carriers breaching their contracts," her ruling states.

Gregory’s Transport, Owens Transport and Patrick Port Logistics were among the parties the TWU wanted to attend a meeting.

Backman says the companies had contracts with owner-drivers who hauled freight to and from Port Botany, but there was no evidence of a dispute over the policy between the parties or between the contractors and DP World.

"PPL [Patrick Port Logistics] advised the Commission that none of its contract carriers have raised any concerns about compliance with the Policy, nor have they indicated to PPL that they will not comply with the Policy," Backman says.

"The same conclusion is available in relation to GT [Gregory’s] and Owens."

The TWU told the commission it had members working at all of the transport companies named in the application, either as employees or owner-drivers.

Sydney Ports Corporation, DP World and the ARTIO were also told they did not have to attend a meeting.

ARTIO told the commission none of the trucking businesses the union wanted at the meeting were members of the organisation and that its members had not informed it of any dispute surrounding DP World’s policy.

Sydney Ports says it leases property to DP World and has no involvement in the day-to-day running of the stevedore.

"In these circumstances there is no material which could provide any basis for the existence of an industrial dispute…between SPC [Sydney Ports Corporation] and the contract carriers engaged to transport goods at the site," Backman says.

DP World’s policy sets out various procedures for drug and alcohol testing. Those who refuse to be tested can be ordered to cease work, while those who return a positive test may be asked to leave DP’s Port Botany site immediately.




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