Since our last report our members at Greenhams have continued to focus on the changes to the workplace laws. They know that their employer will not be able to continue to refuse to meet with our union shop committee as of July 2009. The Fair Work Bill will be in place then and this company will be forced if need be to the bargaining table as the new law enables worker committees to force employers to negotiate in good faith.
Workers compensation and the box bonus cases
Injured workers at Greenhams are aware that we have recently had a victory over the company’s insurers which relates to the interpretation of a weekly earnings whilst on workers compensation. The insurers have accepted our position on the inclusion of the box bonus payments in certain circumstances. The company and its insurers have agreed to pay 15 injured workers back pay tens of thousands and the union’s legal fees which were more than $10,000 to run the case. The company has not however agreed to write a blank cheque for all injured workers who have been incapacitated.
We generally have won the first argument, we now need to go further to establish that all injured workers whether they are employed for 5 weeks or 5 years have the same rights when it comes to ordinary weekly earnings under the Workers Compensation Act. The company has been informed that there is another group of workers claims coming based on our next argument.
Members at this site should also be aware of the terrific job our delegates are doing on behalf of the membership, in particular our Shop Steward Jimmy Donovan. Jim’s recent achievements have not gone unnoticed by our State Executive.