TWU seeks assurances on new Toll direction

By: Rob McKay

Union says workers should be protected from further management mistakes

TWU seeks assurances on new Toll direction
Michael Kaine says past management failings had led to the company’s current difficulties


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is seeking more information on how Toll is to proceed with the reset reiterated this week by parent company Japan Post Holdings.

The union says Toll workers have requested that the company put forward a turnaround plan to staff following recent difficulties.

A committee of rank-and-file members have made the request and yard meetings will be held in the coming days and weeks to discuss more fully a Japan Post writedown on Toll and announcements on job cuts.

"We have been consulting with employee representatives throughout this process and plan to continue close dialogue going forward," a Toll spokesperson says.

TWU national assistant secretary Michael Kaine says past management failings had led to the company’s current difficulties.

"In recent years management salaries have grown, creating 80 millionaires at Toll," Kaine says.

"This came at the same time as the workforce raised repeated concerns about costly outside hire, over-expanded new businesses, poor investment decisions in new technology and the company’s expansion into marginal and difficult parts of the world.

"We want assurances from the new management team that the mistakes of the past have been learned."

The union said in February it was waiting on consultation details.

At the end of March, Toll MD Michael Byrne revealed 1,700 jobs would go worldwide and the company operational divisions reduced from five to three aligning with core segments in Global Express, Global Forwarding and Contract Logistics.

This was with a view to making it "leaner, more competitive and more customer-focused".

 "This is a great company, with a proud history and tremendous potential. However, our industry is rapidly changing and faces significant challenges; Toll must adapt, quickly," Byrne said at the time.

"Our 100-day review of the business has highlighted clear markets and opportunities to deliver on our priority to drive organic growth, as well as the need to make some tough calls to reduce complexity and overhead costs.

"As a result of the changes, Toll expects that approximately 1,700 roles will be impacted globally, including back office and operational roles.

"This is a tough decision that has not been taken lightly.

"We are consulting with our employees and their representatives throughout this process.

"We will fully support employees impacted by these changes, including offering redundancy entitlements, redeployment opportunities where available and career transition support."

Toll currently has more than 40,000 employees in over 50 countries and is a leading logistics provider with operations in more than 1,200 locations.

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