Trades Hall staff battle their boss
April 23, 2010
THE workers of Trades Hall are revolting. The emblem of trade unionism in Victoria faces its own industrial upheaval this morning with a picket line set to be formed from 9 o’clock near or inside the grand old Trades Hall building in Carlton.
Activists emailed a notice yesterday afternoon confirming a picket and asking for support from friends, relatives and ”anyone you know who may support us”. ”We need as many people as possible there,” they said.
It is believed at issue is a dispute over about six contract positions that were not renewed after project funding came to an end. Those who are to lose their jobs claim they are entitled to severance and redundancy pay as part of their enterprise agreement.
”All of us have a strong commitment to unionism but unfortunately are facing serious industrial issues with our union employer, the secretary of Trades Hall, Brian Boyd,” the email said. ”Our enterprise bargaining negotiations have been continually delayed and made extremely difficult because of the secretary’s refusal to participate in the negotiation process.”
They also claim that some contract positions have been shortened by three weeks.
Mr Boyd would not comment yesterday.
The workers claim he has ignored consultation processes and said the picket line would ”send a clear message” to him.
It is believed the picket is likely to form inside the Trades Hall building and that the union representing the workers, the Australian Services Union, is pursuing talks with the employer to try to resolve the issues.
The picket is targeting the Trades Hall executive meeting scheduled for this morning.