UNIONS NSW COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES - MEETING HELD THURSDAY, 1 DECEMBER 2016
IN TRADES HALL AUDITORIUM, SYDNEY AT 5:00PM.

The President, Com. J. Kiejda occupied the Chair.

PRESENT:   M. Morey [Secretary], E. Maiden, T. Costa [Assistant Secretaries].

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  

OPENING OF THE MEETING:  The President, Com. J. Kiejda opened the meeting and in doing so recognised the traditional owners of the land on which the meeting was held, The Gadigal People of the Eora Nation.

 

MINUTES:

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the minutes from the meeting of 24 November 2016 be received".

Com. M. Keiran (NSWNMA) seconded.

CARRIED

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the minutes of the meeting of 24 November 2016 be adopted".

Com. P. Byrne (NSWNMA) seconded

CARRIED

APOLOGIES:  Apologies were received and accepted for: B. Holmes (NSWNMA), R. Collison (AMWU), D. McKinley (ETU), C. Boyle (SDA).

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the apologies be received and accepted".

Com. P. Noack (AWU) seconded.

CARRIED


EXECUTIVE CORRESPONDENCE:

1.  From: Construction, Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) regarding the ABCC being reintroduced.  The passing of the bill to bring back the ABCC through a backdoor deal with One Nation, Senators Nick Xenophon and Derryn Hinch has sold out the civil and industrial rights of 1 million Australian workers.

The rights of 1 million construction workers have been sold down the river by cross bench senators to horse trade with the government on other issues.

These are laws that will take away rights, will endanger safety and conditions for ordinary workers in the industry. We know this because we’ve been here before and that’s what happened.

The ABCC bill:

  • removes the right of silence for construction workers bans workers, unions and employers agreeing to limit casualisation
  • prohibits workers, unions and employers from promoting the employment of apprentices
  • bans unions and employers agreeing to safe hours of work or any limitation at all on excessive overtime
  • prohibits employees seeking the assistance of their union on safety issues on building site
  • bans measures that give workers job security.

The union will continue to stand up for its members, fight for safety on sites and bargain for better conditions for workers in the industry.

We will also continue to fight for an end to bad and discriminatory laws that favours the interests of big property developers and multinational construction companies over the interests of ordinary working Australians.

We thank former Senators John Madigan, Ricky Muir, Glenn Lazarus and Jacqui Lambie for withstanding pressure from the Government to pass the bill.

They deserve to be congratulated for staying true to their principles and for voting down laws that are essentially an ideological attack on construction workers, unlike the current lot. 

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW also condemns the passing of the ABCC Bill.  This is an attack on construction workers and their union.   Construction workers face dangerous working conditions, chronic wage theft and problems with phoenixing.  The ABCC Bill will only make these problems worse.

Unions NSW stands with the CFMEU and their members”.     

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED BY ACCLAMATION

2.   From: Shop Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) (Re 3 Matters)

1. Support retail workers. Don’t go shopping on Boxing Day.  The Baird Government has forgotten retail workers again this year with the second year of a trial allowing Boxing Day trading across NSW. This will put unfair pressure on thousands of retail workers to work when they would rather be with their family and friends.

Last year economic analysis showed trading on Boxing Day did not increase spending in retail for the month of December. Public polling also showed shopping did not make the top 5 things people like to do on Boxing Day. Sadly though, almost 1 in 3 shop assistants who worked on Boxing Day felt pressured to work and lose valuable family time.

Whilst last year retailers had to bus staff into some stores, where the majority of local staff had refused to work on the day, the truth is unless the shops are shut too many will feel forced to work.

Members have been keeping the issue in focus ahead of next year’s review of the retail trading laws. A form members can fill in to refuse to work has had over 40,000 hits so far.

Thank you to religious groups, the Sydney Alliance, United Voice, the ALP and the Shooters for support at a recent activity in Martin Place.

Shop assistants ask for all affiliates support through a simple action of solidarity – refuse to shop on Boxing Day. There will still be plenty of specials on the 27th!

2.  Keep Your Cool This Christmas – Respect Retail Workers

The SDA’s Safety Demands Action Campaign has identified that almost 1 in 2 retail workers have reported being the victim of customer abuse or violence in the last 12 months. The reports range from constant verbal abuse to physical threats and assaults.

Unfortunately, the issue of customer abuse of workers is too widespread across the whole service sector. The SDA National Council has resolved to address the issue through a coordinated and long term campaign.

The campaign will be aimed at:

  • educating members on their rights;
  • requiring employers to support members with a zero tolerance for abusive behaviour; and
  • raise public awareness of the need to respect retail workers.

An in-depth survey of members experiences of customer abuse is currently underway.

In the lead up to Christmas as shops get busier and sometimes frustrating we will be making a public call to shoppers to keep their cool because it’s never okay to abuse a retail worker.

The SDA will be distributing material online and in local shopping centres.

We request affiliates help by sending out a reminder to all members in the lead up to Christmas to respect retail workers.

Christmas is meant to be a time of peace and joy – show retail workers some respect this Christmas, it just might be the best gift you can give them.

3.  SDA wins Greenfields Federal Court Case with ALDI

On Tuesday the SDA achieved a win for ALDI workers in the Federal Court. The Federal Court quashed the ALDI Regency Park Agreement 2015 on the basis that it was in fact a Greenfields agreement.

ALDI had attempted to have a new Agreement voted up by a small group of 17 workers which would then have applied to hundreds of retail and warehouse workers in parts of NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The vote occurred before the expanded operation had started and whilst the 17 were employed in other parts of the business. This was attempted as a means of avoiding negotiating a Greenfields Agreement with the union. The Federal Court found that the offers of future work did not mean the 17 were at the time of voting actually covered by the Agreement.

The Federal Court decision is an excellent outcome for ALDI workers right across the country and provides greater clarity in relation to the operation of Greenfields agreements and workers rights to representation.

A video was shown to council “Take the Time” and two memes: 

          “I Refuse to Shop on Boxing Day” and;

          “Customer Abuse is NOT part of the Job Respect Retail workers”

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“That the correspondence be received and Unions NSW supports the SDA’s call for shoppers to support retail workers by not going shopping on Boxing Day and to treat retail workers with respect this Christmas.

Unions NSW calls on all affiliates to publicise both these issues to their members.

Further, Unions NSW congratulates the SDA on the win for ALDI workers in opposing the proposed agreement”.

Com. B. Smith (SDA) seconded.

CARRIED

REPORTS:

1.   Domestic Violence We Won’t Wait Campaign

Com. Rita Mallia, President CFMEU, said it was a great week working on the domestic violence campaign with the ASU.  ASU member, Karen Willis, and Jan Primrose of the ASU spoke to the mass meeting of CFMEU members. The CFMEU will continue to work with the ASU and other unions regarding domestic violence.  30 building workers have died this year with double that number of women killed by partners or ex partners – a sobering statistic.  On last count, the CFMEU had 49 flags hanging from buildings and cranes in support of the We Won’t Wait campaign against domestic violence message. It was pleasing that some employers were cooperative. They have raised $6.5K so for the four domestic violence services.

Com. K. Minter reported that the CFMEU action was part the 16 Days of Action leading up to COAG, where pressure is being placed on Mike Baird to support domestic violence leave in the NES. Other unions that have held events are the SDA, NSWTF, CFMEU, FSU, MUA (in Sydney and Newcastle) and HSU with more events to come.

Unions NSW also convened a roundtable meeting held last week with police, ambos, health services, doctors, nurses, community groups and representative of women’s services to support 10 days of domestic violence leave in the NES.  The representative from Baird’s office was unsympathetic. The stories from the frontline workers were very powerful. Baird has now said he will accept a delegation to meet with him.  We are trying to get in to see him prior to 9th December.  

Further events will be held next week against domestic violence outside MP’s offices at the Northern Beaches, Kiama, Penrith, Maitland, Kempsey and Newcastle. Details were displayed on the screen.

Domestic Violence Leave Events.

Date

Where

 

Tue  6 Dec 

   11:30 am

Northern Beaches

Outside Premier Baird’s office

     Shop 2,  2 Wentworth St,   MANLY

Tue 6 Dec
     4pm

Kiama

Outside Gareth Ward’s office
        102 Terralong St, Kiama 

Tue 6 Dec

       4pm

Penrith

Outside Stuart Ayres’ office
  Shop 23 Penrith Centre, 510-534 High St

Tue 6 Dec

      6pm

Maitland

Woodies Hotel - 3 Woodford St, Thornton

Wed 7 Dec

    12noon

Kempsey

Outside Melinda Pavey’s office

        37 Elbow St, West Kempsey

Thu 8 Dec
      6pm

Newcastle

 Newcastle Trades Hall
        406-408 King St, Newcastle West

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

"That the report be received and noted".

Com. J. Wright (ASU) seconded

CARRIED

From:  Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) regarding We Won’t Wait MessageThe CFMEU writes to advise that we have proudly partnered with the ASU to take the We Can’t Wait message to a number of construction sites this week. In recognition of the UN Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the CFMEU nationally determined to begin a conversation with its male dominated membership about this important subject.

The CFMEU believes it has a responsibility, as well as a role, to be part of the solution to the serious issue of family violence. With one in three men statistically being the perpetrator of violence against women, the CFMEU is well placed to raise the issue with our membership and also have male workers raise the issue amongst themselves. We know the vast majority of men abhor violence against women and children.

A number of successful mass meetings were held across Sydney and we have prepared a slideshow highlighting the ASU CFMEU activity. We also were inspired by hearing from Jan Primrose, ASU delegates Karen Willis and members Jane and Jo, both workers in this area. We are also undertaking some fund raising for a number of service and we provide a link that we ask is sent out to all affiliates. The services being supported are:

  • Lillian's Refuge for young women aged 13-17 years experiencing family violence. Lilian's get no government funding. All the workers who provide these services are members of their union the Australian Services Union. There is no other service that does this work in this area. www.lillians.org.auThe Safe Haven Project. This service provides
  • services to women with children who are living with family violence.  Again the workers at this service 100% union. They are focusing on service for toddlers and children. www.safehavenproject.org.au
  • Penrith Women’s Health Service. This service also supports women and children living with or leaving violence. www.penrithwomenshealthcentre.com.au 
  • The Wash House. This service also provides support to women and children living with or leaving violence http://www.washhouse.org.au/         

 We trust that affiliates will consider supporting our campaign.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

“Unions NSW thanks the CFMEU for partnering with the ASU on the ‘We Won’t Wait Campaigns’. The CFMEU is to be commended for the green flags that have appeared on cranes around Sydney that say ‘Equal at work, Equal at home, Standing United against family violence’

Unions NSW will circulate details of the services the CFMEU is fundraising for to all affiliates and encourages them to support this initiative.”

Com. R. Mallia (CFMEU) seconded.

CARRIED

2.  Union Pride Launch

Com. R. Fortescue reported on the Launch of Union Pride last Thursday. The event was well attended with over 300 supporters.  Union Pride was a long time coming and congratulations to Unions NSW and Salim Barbar and the committee for doing all the hard work.  It is just not about Madi Gras. All trade unions should be represented on the Pride Committee so please make sure your union has a rep.  Tiernan Brady, YES Equality Campaign Ireland delivered a great speech.  He noted there was no need for a referendum here.  Rank and file members spoke from the heart.  There was much enthusiasm with plenty of chatter on FaceBook and Twitter. The interest was all about strength in unity.  Several unions requested Tiernan Brady’s speech to upload on their websites.

The Secretary, Com. M. Morey moved:

That the report be received and noted”.

 

Com. R. Fortescue (AMWU) seconded.

CARRIED

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.  The NTEU LectureReviving Civic Culture: The Role of Universities.”

Tonight Thursday 1 December 2016 at 5:30pm Guthrie Theatre, Peter Johnson Building, UTS, Level 3,

Building 6, 702 Harris St Ultimo.
 

2.  Invitation - Book Launch: The Memoirs of Tom and Audrey McDonald

Tonight Thursday 1st December 5:30pm, Trades Hall Atrium, 4 Goulburn Street, Sydney

MC: Tony Maher, National President, CFMEU

3.  Campaign to Save Sydney’s Trees and Animals

Rally and March  -  Sunday 4 December, 2pm in Belmore Park

4.  International Human Rights Day

Saturday 10 December at 1pm - Start Invasion Park (First Fleet Park) Circular Quay

 

MEETING ADJOURNED AT 5:45PM

        

Tagged: Minutes  /   News

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