Bevchain reaches strike deal with union


Logistics company and TWU reach in-principle agreement on new workplace conditions for employees

Bevchain reaches strike deal with union
Bevchain transports well-known drink brands such as Hahn.

 

Bevchain has averted potentially crippling industrial action after signing off on a new enterprise agreement for its workers.

The alcoholic drinks transporter reached an in-principle deal with the New South Wales branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) on new workplace conditions, including a 16 per cent pay rise over four years.

It means the union will no longer follow through on its threat to wage workplace strikes in pursuit of a new agreement.

The TWU last month gained approval to ask its members working for Bevchain if they supported indefinite work stoppages and a ban on overtime.

TWU NSW secretary Wayne Forno says more than 90 per cent of those taking part in the ballot supported industrial action.  

"Last week's overwhelming endorsement of protected action sent a clear message to management, and that message was that Bevchain workers were determined to fight to secure a fair deal," he says.

"Job security and the creeping expansion of casualisation and outsourcing have been the leading issues for Bevchain workers."

The TWU in July complained talks on a new agreement were at a standstill.

"Bevchain shifted from its position following a successful protected action ballot – where more than 93 per cent of votes cast were in favour of taking industrial action," Forno says.

He says Bevchain workers have accepted the in-principle agreement, meaning the Fair Work Commission now only needs to approve it for it to take effect.

The TWU did not get everything it was after. It had been pushing for an increase in superannuation to 15 per cent, but Bevchain has managed to keep payments at 12 per cent.

The agreement will restrict the company’s use of contractors and allow employees to go into negative leave payments for up to two weeks while their claims for workers compensation are assessed.

The TWU last month claimed industrial action would lead to beer supplies running out in NSW.

Bevchain is a joint venture between Linfox and Lion Nathan.

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