PN Coal denies misuse of the stand-down clause at Port Kembla
An inadequate stand-down notice issued by PN Coal, that affected train crew at Port Kembla and Lithgow, has lead to the RTBU seeking help from FWA help clarify how stand-down notices should be issued to employees.
The notice was issued as a result of CFMEU protected industrial action at Port Kembla and the issues in dispute are that, in breach of Clause 11 of the EA, PN did not provide the required two days written notice to employees before the start of the proposed stand down.
PN also did not specify a time frame for the stand down, simply saying it would be for an “undefined period of time”. There is also contention as to whether there was sufficient consultation as soon as practical before the stand down.
Although the proposal was withdrawn the day before the stand down was due to start, the RTBU wants to resolve any discrepancies in the interpretation of Clause 11 in order to ensure that any future stand-down notifications follow the correct procedure.
PN has replied that it doesn’t think their application of the stand-down clause is incorrect and that there is therefore no need to take the issue to FWA.
On February 28 the RTBU applied to the FWA to have the matter heard. In the meantime PN have agreed to meet, but also acknowledges that if the meeting can’t resolve the issues, the RTBU reserves its right to go to FWA.
The meeting will take place this Thursday, and if required, the FWA conciliation is set for Friday.