WA transport workers at Cleanaway will strike on Wednesday, April 19, after two emergency meetings to try and avert industrial action failed.
After a resounding 95 per cent vote in favour of industrial action the TWU negotiating committee met with Cleanaway twice this week to try and reach a settlement to the matters in dispute.
WA workers have been resisting a national proposal by Cleanaway to remove daily overtime, force weekends to be worked as normal hours and rejected proposed pay increases that don’t meet inflation.
Already Cleanaway has been subjected to industrial action in Sydney and the ACT, the fifth time workers have taken action this year over company plans to reduce penalty rates for weekend work.
“We have tried to reach agreement with Cleanaway, but they are determined to take away the overtime and weekends of their workforce,” said the union’s WA state secretary Tim Dawson.
“We held off on industrial action and tried to reach a settlement but it’s clear that there is a national agenda from Cleanaway to blow up the hard fought and won conditions in the industry.”
Residents and families in the City of Vincent, Fremantle, South Perth, Victoria Park, Kalamunda, Joondalup, Bayswater, Mandurah and Bunbury could be affected by next week’s strike action.
“Cleanaway are showing contempt for their workforce and contempt for the communities they operate in,” added Dawson.
“They could have avoided this; we gave them two opportunities to drop their proposals, but they are determined to push ahead. Instead of listening to their workers they are now trying to sneak the changes in the back door using a so called “grandfathering” clause”.
Dawson said Cleanaway has had every chance to engage with the TWU in constructive negotiations but have refused to address drivers’ concerns.
“It’s not too much to ask to be paid for your overtime, have a weekend with your family and not have your wages continually eroded by inflation,” said Dawson.
“Garbos are essential workers. They work long, unsociable hours in in all weather conditions to serve our community. They deserve fair conditions; they deserve time with their families and they deserve respect.”
Dawson said the drivers are calling on the community to support them in their fight for fair pay and conditions.
“They urge residents to be patient during the strike period and to understand that this action is necessary to ensure that their rights are protected.”