|The TWU has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement to provide job security and protection of terms and conditions for essential waste workers after months of industrial unrest at Cleanaway sites across the state.
The new legislation ensures workers will keep their jobs and won’t lose any existing terms and conditions if waste contracts change hands.
It means essential waste workers’ jobs, pay and conditions can no longer be traded off by companies seeking to undercut existing contracts to win work.
It comes after a year of tumultuous negotiations and protected industrial action at several Cleanaway sites in the state and more across the country.
The union has lodged two intractable bargaining disputes against Cleanaway in the Fair Work Commission after long stalemates over the waste services provider’s attempts to worsen conditions and force workers onto grueling 7-day rosters to secure contracts over competitors.
TWU NSW/QLD Secretary Richard Olsen said the changes will bring industrial harmony to an essential industry for our communities.
“This is a great win for waste workers who’ve battled months of hostile negotiations and called on local councils and the State Government to act to protect their jobs and conditions.
“Waste removal is an essential service for our communities. It’s a tough job which is made even harder by the fear of job insecurity as contracts can be transferred from an employer to a new provider with no guarantees for workers or their families.
“This is sensible and impactful legislation from the NSW Government. Waste workers will have peace of mind that their jobs, pay and conditions are secure.
“NSW communities will have the protection of smooth transition when essential waste contracts change hands, without the disruption of experienced waste workers disappearing from their streets.
“The changes create a level playing field for waste companies which can no longer be undercut by a competitor using workers’ livelihoods as a bargaining chip. This will make a difference to homes, businesses and hardworking families across NSW,” he said.
Media contact: Pippa Hatton 0418 982 257