Bunnings dispute heads to the Employment Relations Authority
The long running employment dispute between Bunnings and FIRST Union is heading to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).
The development comes after Bunnings suspended hundreds of workers across the country for removing their signature aprons in a symbolic protest against the company’s repeated refusal to compromise on rostering.
“The ERA has accepted our application for facilitated bargaining. With the ERA supervising the process we’re confident we can break the deadlock on rostering,” says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.
Facilitated bargaining is where the ERA steps in to help overcome impasses in collective bargaining. At the end of the process the ERA can make recommendations for settlement.
Both parties have agreed to be bound by any recommendations.
Bunnings and FIRST Union have been at logger heads over proposed changes to rosters. Under the current agreement rosters are set with “mutual agreement” between managers and workers, but Bunnings is proposing a new system that would let managers impose rosters with as little as a few days’ notice in some circumstances.
According to FIRST Union, the proposals will make planning life outside of work impossible because workers will not know when they’re working.