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Author Topic: Article: Unions launch Federal Court action over QR National redundancies  (Read 1334 times)

Offline ozbob

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From the Brisbanetimes click here!

Unions launch Federal Court action over QR National redundancies

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Unions launch Federal Court action over QR National redundancies

Date July 23, 2012 - 1:55PM Marissa Calligeros

QR National employees will have no more than three days to accept a voluntary redundancy offer and risk being left in limbo, unions claim.

The Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union launched Federal Court action against QR National this morning in a bid to halt its voluntary redundancy program.

ETU organiser Jason Young said QR National, operator of the state's coal and freight network, had ignored the unions' dispute over the redundancies and pushed ahead with its restructure plans.

More than 1100 jobs were due to be shed, but Mr Young said as many as 6500 could be affected.
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He said substation electricians, telecommunications technicians and administration staff across the state were at risk.

Mr Young said employees were required to submit their expressions of interest by this Friday, while elements of their payouts were still in question.

They would be expected to make a final decision by close of business Monday, he said.

"These people have only got three days to actually put in for another job that may be vacant or make a decision on a redundancy," Mr Young said.

"QR National have told us they won't know until the end of the year at the earliest whether they're actually going to make those jobs redundant."

In the meantime, Mr Young said, employees would be put into "transition centres", where they would essentially be forced into taking a redundancy.

The unions want an assurance from QR National, at the Federal Court hearing tomorrow, that it would adhere to the dispute resolutions procedure.

"QR National says they're not going to pay [some allowances]. We say they should be paid," Mr Young said.

"Our members are gutted. They're feeling pressured to make a decision on their future without all the information. We're trying to make sure they have all the information."

A QR National spokesman said the company had opened expressions of interests in voluntary redundancy or redeployment on July 19.

"QR National has been working constructively with unions including the ETU and the AMWU to resolve outstanding issues through Fair Work Australia," he said.

"QR National remains confident of resolving these outstanding issues."

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/unions-launch-federal-court-action-over-qr-national-redundancies-20120723-22jmc.html
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Offline Fares_Fair

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Article: QR National in court over lay-offs
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 09:51:09 AM »
Article: QR National in court over lay-offs
by Owen Jacques
Queensland Times
25th July 2012 at 6:00 AM

http://www.qt.com.au/story/2012/07/25/qr-national-in-court-over-staff-lay-offs/

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UNIONS fought QR National in the Federal Court and in front of Fair Work Australia yesterday over plans to cut more than 900 workers.

The Electrical Trades Union and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union took QR National to court after accusing the company of ignoring issues raised by the unions over voluntary redundancies.

The Federal Court sent both sides back to Fair Work Australia yesterday afternoon, to be resumed if an agreement cannot be made.

QR National, which employs 700 people at its Redbank workshops, is not able to compel workers to accept redundancies, a safeguard set out in the current enterprise bargaining agreement.

Because of these restrictions, QR National is able to declare workers "surplus" if their jobs disappear, shifting them from a workshop and into a "transition centre".

In this office, workers are paid a base salary to update their resumes and work with recruitment staff to find them new roles within or beyond the company.

Both unions know it cannot stop QR National from cutting staff, but want the rail powerhouse to have a truly voluntary redundancy program.

ETU organiser Jason Young said 6500 of QR National's 9000-strong workforce were "in scope" to be offered between 900 and 1500 redundancies.

He said both unions went to Fair Work Australia, which suggested they take the issue to the Federal Court.

"We considered that and the gravity of the situation facing members and brought on an action to the Federal Court for an injunction to stop them implementing their redundancy program," Mr Young said.

With the EBA off the table until the end of next year, industrial action is not an option.

In 2011, more than 900 workers were given voluntary redundancies.

AMWU state organiser Steve Franklin said many might take the redundancies to avoid having to go through this process each year.

"I think there is certainly nervousness out there.

"These guys don't know what's going to happen in the future."

QR National declined to comment further.


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Fares_Fair


 

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