Contract Cleaners Dispute

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31st August 2009, 03:02pm - Views: 598
Contract Cleaners Dispute

Queensland based contract cleaning businesses have appealed to State and Federal Governments to intervene in a dispute with the Liquor Hospitality Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) and its "not negotiable" stance regarding the union's "Clean Start" employment agreement.

Since 1996 Queensland based contract cleaners have operated under a State-based Certified Agreement and have indicated to the LHMU that they wish to continue the established cooperative approach to industrial relations.

The BSCAA which represents contract cleaners today called on the Premier and the Deputy Prime Minister to intervene in the dispute.

Many Queensland contractors have already committed to the principals of the LHMU's Clean Start campaign by signing the LHMU's Responsible Contractor's Policy.

The LHMU has presented contract cleaning businesses with their Clean Start Agreement wanting them to signup to it without delay. Queensland contractors have communicated their willingness to reach agreement with the LHMU using their Clean Start Agreement and its underlying principals as a starting point for negotiations but unfortunately the LHMU has rejected all offers by Queensland contractors. The LHMU's position has been for contractors to accept the agreement as it stands or be prepared for the consequences.

Queensland contractors have always been willing to negotiate in good faith with the LHMU. The fact that the LHMU and Queensland contractors through its industry association the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia Queensland Division (BSCAA) have had in place since 1996 State-based Certified Agreements is evidence of the industry's cooperative approach to industrial relations.

Given that one of the key elements of the Federal Government's new industrial relations laws, the Fair Work Act, is for employment agreements to be bargained in good faith at the business level, it seems quite astonishing that the LHMU will not sit down and negotiate with Queensland Contractors.

As recently as Tuesday of this week the Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard in her address to the 15th World Congress International Industrial Relations Association conference called for the building of new partnerships between management and workers and their unions. It appears that the LHMU is yet to realise the industrial relations landscape has changed, they'd rather engage in discredited tactics of the past such as pattern bargaining.

The BSCAA on behalf of its members is hopeful the Union will review its current stance and get on board with the likes of the Deputy Prime Minister. As such the BSCAA calls on the LHMU to come to the bargaining table and negotiate with Queensland contractors, agreements that reflect their individual concerns. The days of one size fits all are long gone.

- ENDS -

Further Information please contact:
Kathy Lynch
BSCAA Qld Office
P: 07 3257 3931
F: 07 3257 3932

SOURCE: Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (Qld Division)

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