TWU industrial action to again disrupt local services in the ACT
SUEZ is again disappointed by the latest Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) decision to take industrial action in Canberra on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 November over disputed pay increases.
SUEZ sincerely regrets the disruption of services to Canberra residents.
The TWU’s action inconveniences those who rely on the important work from our collection drivers in undertaking the essential service of waste collection.
SUEZ is proposing a wage increase of 2% in 2021, 3% in 2022 and 3% in 2023. The company believes this offer is reasonable and fair given the current economic circumstances in Australia, reflected in Canberra’s CPI figures that show a rise of just 1% in the 12 months to September.
Similar to most businesses in Australia, SUEZ has adopted measures across its operation to reduce the impact of COVID-19 and the country’s first recession in almost three decades. All divisions across SUEZ have taken action to adjust to the vastly altered economic landscape in which we are all living in order to ensure the longer-term economic sustainability of our business. These steps include no CPI salary increase for salaried employees in 2020 and alternative working arrangements, including a reduction in hours for many employees. Like many other Australian executives, our senior leadership team took a 25% pay reduction for three months at the height of the pandemic.
The TWU’s determination to seek a 4% increase per year for three years is at odds with the Reserve Bank’s wage growth forecast of well below 2% over the next two years. The bank also believes it will take until at least the end of 2022 for wage growth to reach 1.75%.
SUEZ has held ongoing and good faith discussions with the TWU over several months. We continue to seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission and are hopeful that our next meeting with tribunal representatives on 18 November will bring an end to this action.