Bevchain’s workforce to vote on whether to take industrial action.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) members working for alcohol transporter Bevchain will soon vote on whether to take industrial action as part of efforts to secure a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

The Fair Work Commission this week approved an application from the TWU to hold a ballot to determine the level of support for industrial action.

The union applied to the commission for a ballot after claiming talks on a new agreement were at a standstill.

Both parties have not yet reached a compromise on a number of critical issues covering job security, rates, safety and superannuation.

ATN has sought further information on the TWU’s demands.

Bevchain employees will be asked if they support a number of actions, including stoppages ranging from four hours to indefinite, along with refusing to work overtime.

“We’ve been in there trying to negotiate for a fair agreement that recognises our hard work and dedication, but it seems like the company doesn’t want to hear it,” Greg Leslie from the TWU’s negotiation team says.

TWU New South Wales state secretary Wayne Forno says negotiations have been going on for almost four months and that the ballot will take place over the coming weeks.

He has signalled Bevchain faces significant disruptions if industrial action goes ahead.

“Without our members hard work, the trucks and the stock don’t move. They won’t move,” Forno says.

“Bevchain workers are the key to the company’s success. Members have been seeking an agreement that recognises this, with secure jobs, efficient operations and a partnership for lifting standards right across Australia’s most dangerous industry.”

Bevchain is a joint venture between liquor industry giant Lion Nathan and Linfox and is the largest alcoholic beverage distributor in the country.

ATN 16 July 2014

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Transport Workers' Union NSW