Call to limit reg­u­la­tory bur­den on AVs

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

ATA urges govern­ments to sup­port com­pa­nies look­ing to adopt au­to­mated tech­nol­ogy

“There’ll be pun­ish­ing nes for com­pa­nies and jail terms for in­di­vid­u­als guilty of sys­tem­atic wage theft”

THE TRANSPORT WORK­ERS

UNION (TWU) has seen its push to crim­i­nalise de­lib­er­ate non-pay­ment en­dorsed by New South Wales op­po­si­tion leader Luke Fo­ley.

The Aus­tralian La­bor Party ( ALP) move marks progress in the na­tion’s most pop­u­lous state and is likely to res­onate in other states.

And though a spe­cific link with tack­ling ‘phoenix’ com­pany prac­tices has not been made, the Transport Work­ers Union ( TWU) is sen­si­tive to that path to avoid­ing en­ti­tle­ments and points to re­cent ALP work on the is­sue.

“It hasn’t been specif­i­cally men­tioned in our mo­tions but the legal changes would cover the un­der­ly­ing phoenix­ing is­sue,” a union spokesper­son tells ATN.

Fo­ley an­nounced the move in the ALP NSW/ACT con­fer­ence ad­dress as the first item of a gen­eral five-point plan “to elim­i­nate the ex­ploita­tion of vul­ner­a­ble work­ers”.

A fu­ture state ALP govern­ment would “crim­i­nalise the de­lib­er­ate fail­ure to pay wages and other en­ti­tle­ments”.

“There’ll be pun­ish­ing fines for com­pa­nies and jail terms for in­di­vid­u­als guilty of sys­tem­atic wage theft ,” said Fo­ley.

The other four wages and con­di­tions ini­tia­tives would be a:

• Fran­chise net­work laws over­haul that would make head fran­chisors li­able

• Young work­ers’ pro­tec­tions boost through in­creased work­place in­spec­tors’ pow­ers

• Hire com­pany li­cens­ing scheme un­der the in­dus­trial re­la­tions com­mis­sion that would in­clude a ‘fit and proper per­son’ test on labour hire op­er­a­tors, own­ers and di­rec­tors

• And, re­in­state­ment of Sun­day penalty rates. TWU na­tional sec­re­tary Tony Shel­don praised Fo­ley for his po­si­tion on the is­sue.

“When an em­ployer re­fuses to pay the cor­rect rates, al­lowances or su­per­an­nu­a­tion, the worst that can hap­pen is that the Fair Work Om­buds­man asks them to pay it back,” Shel­don says.

“This is not a de­ter­rent: it’s an in­vi­ta­tion to see what you can get away with.”

The union says its TWU branch has “so far this (sic) re­cov­ered over $750,000 in un­paid wages and al­lowances for mem­bers”.

“Ev­ery in­dus­try has hor­ror sto­ries of wage theft ,” Shel­don adds.

“The TWU is purs­ing hun­dreds of cases, in­clud­ing one com­pany which un­der­paid three truck driv­ers by over $100,000.”

Luke Fo­ley

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