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The AWU stands with members at Boral

April 29, 2020

The Australian Workers’ Union has successfully fought off plans by Boral to stand down hundreds of members during the COVID-19 crisis.

Boral had announced it was going to shut down two sites for at least three weeks in the Southern Highlands in NSW – at Berrima and Marulan – due to the downturn in the domestic concrete market.

This would have affected up to 300 employees – including 100 management positions – and could have resulted in a shutdown of Berrima’s kiln for at least 3 weeks.

After full consultation process was launched by the AWU with management and members, Boral was forced to abide by the correct stand down provisions of its onsite Enterprise Agreement.

As a result, only those members with excessive leave are now impacted. Furthermore this process will only be for a set three-week period commencing on 1 June 2020.

Remaining workers will undertake other duties such as maintenance, cleaning and yard sales. The agreement reached with the union does not extend to management positions and the majority are being forced to either take leave or stand down.

Daniel Walton, National Secretary of the AWU, said the decision demonstrated that companies like Boral could not just disregard industrial relations laws because of COVID-19 and should serve as a warning to any other business considering standing down staff.

“As a union we don’t want any of our members to have to stop work, be stood down or use their leave unnecessarily, but these are exceptional circumstances and the outcome is far better than what Boral had initially announced. It’s clear that when we work together, we can arrive at answers that make more sense for everyone and minimise the impact on members and the business.

“The AWU will continue to ensure employers do the right thing by our members throughout this crisis and beyond.”

Boral has also agreed to consult with the AWU on a regular basis regarding any future changes across its entire national operations as a result of COVID-19.

The AWU will keep members updated. If you have any questions about the above, please contact your AWU delegate or organiser.

There has never been a more important time to be in the AWU – join your union today and help the AWU protect jobs across Australia.


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