CWU T&S WEEKLY BULLETIN NO 2020 /
18 Oct 2020
At a meeting this week Telstra provided more details about the new round of redundancies. A further meeting is programmed this week. One issue that needs explaining is the proposed spill and fill of over 150 jobs. Spill and fill new roles is obviously a redundancy situation yet Telstra deny this. If you have any issues, please contact us.
WORKPLACE DEATHS INCREASE
183 deaths at work in 2019, first increase in more than a decade: Data released today by Safe Work Australia tracking workplace injuries and fatalities in 2019 shows the rate of workplace deaths increasing for the first time since 2007 as the Morrison Government continues to drag its feet on work health and safety reform.
183 workers died during 2019, 38 more than in 2018, with the biggest increases coming in transport (58 compared to 38) and across NSW (61 compared to 47). The increase in transport likely downplays the horrific rates of injury and death for delivery workers in the gig economy as many work-related deaths which occur on our roads are counted as traffic accidents, rather than workplace fatalities.
The data also shows the rate of claims through workers' compensation for serious injuries increasing in agriculture, manufacturing, transport and logistics as well as health, community, and personal services.
The Morrison Government is yet to act on the recommendations of a 2018 review of national WHS legislation which recommended industrial manslaughter provisions which would hold employers responsible where they cause the deaths of working people and regulations governing psychological injury and ill health which would mean factors contributing to mental illness in the workplace would be treated like physical hazards. The delay is making workplaces less safe. Governments could also act immediately to accurately track deaths and injuries in transport and logistics like what was recently introduced in Victoria.
ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O'Brien:
"Every worker has the right to go to work and come home safe. Sadly, this data shows the appalling toll of Government inaction on workplace health and safety. Nearly 4 deaths every week while the Morrison Government talked up economic growth before the pandemic.
POST WORRIED ABOUT REPUTATION - SMH
Australia Post hired $3000-a-day reputation manager as it wound back deliveries
Post boss Christine Holgate hired a $3000-a-day "reputation management" firm while the organisation sought to justify winding back mail delivery services and win political influence during the coronavirus pandemic. The Age & SMH can also reveal Ms Holgate, who earned more than $2.5 million in pay and bonuses as the publicly owned entity's chief executive, spent about $300,000 on corporate credit cards and chauffeur-driven cars over a 12-month period.
The bill for hiring leading public relations consultant Ross Thornton reached more than $119,000 for just 38 days between June and July, with the former adviser to James Hardie and AMP still engaged by Australia Post.
In written answers to the Senate dated June 23, Australia Post confirmed it had hired crisis-management firm Domestique, where Mr Thornton is a partner, to provide "communication planning" and "issues management advice services".
It followed an announcement that Labor and the Greens would seek to overturn temporary regulatory powers granted to Post by the Morrison government to allow letters to be delivered in metropolitan areas every second day, rather than every day, remove the priority mail product and extend delivery time for intrastate letters to five days.
The nation's mail delivery service has provided the information to a Senate committee in response to a series of questions regarding its financial management but has refused to break down how much of its money was spent.
Post's admission comes amid the organisation's warnings that Australians should prepare to post their Christmas parcels up to six weeks in advance to ensure gifts arrive in time as it deals with massive backlogs at delivery centres.
Ms Holgate and some of Australia Post's senior executives are set to be grilled at Senate estimates next week following a string of scandals surrounding personal bonuses payments, intervention over One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's unsolicited mailout of stubby holders to public housing residents and massive delays to services.
The claims come from the union representing posties, but Australia Post has rejected reports it's planning to slash 2000 jobs.
Labor government accountability spokeswoman Kimberley Kitching said Ms Holgate brought in Mr Thornton to defend the indefensible. "He's being paid $3000 a day. Mr Thornton is lucky there's electronic transfer of funds - otherwise if the cheque was in the mail from Australia Post, he'd know he'd be waiting quite a while," she said. (extracts from SMH)
Authorised by Dan Dwyer Branch Secretary
CWU Telecommunications & Services Branch, Sydney City, NSW.