TWU wants urgent fair labor reform in transportation
TWU says recent Commission decisions show transport industry body needed
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has called for urgent reform as a Fair Work Commission ruling agrees Deliveroo pilot Diego Franco was unfairly dismissed, but could not find he was an employee following the High Court ruling on staff contracts.
Fair Work Commission Vice Chairman Adam Hatcher said the commissioner’s decision on the unfair dismissal was correct at the time of the ruling.
“The commissioner’s finding of lack of just cause, coupled with Franco’s undeniable breach of procedural fairness, made inevitable the commissioner’s finding that the termination was harsh, unjust and unreasonable,” Hatcher said.
Deliveroo’s appeal has been upheld on the grounds that the decision must now be reviewed in the light of a High Court ruling earlier this year which ruled that the terms of a contract should be used to determine the status of job, rather than the nature of the work.
The TWU is calling for urgent reform to ensure all transport workers have rights with safety standards enforced to deal with the deadly pressures in the industry.
Since the previous federal government decommissioned a traffic safety watchdog in 2016, the TWU says 272 transport workers have been killed, 11 of whom were food delivery workers.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the federal government must urgently introduce reform to address the archaic system that grants rights like unfair dismissal only to workers deemed to be employees.
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“Diego Franco and his family have gone through more than two years of stress and turmoil. Diego was wrongfully terminated without warning, a finding twice accepted by the Fair Work Commission,” Kaine said.
“Despite this act by Deliveroo, Franco and his family have been snatched away from justice for no reason other than an outdated legal system that does not represent today’s working world.”
Kaine says the discovery allows companies in the gig economy to adjust contract wording to avoid accounting for workers’ rights.
“Every transport worker in Australia needs rights and protections without exception. Companies like Uber and DoorDash have joined calls for an independent body to set minimum standards to level the playing field across the country. industry,” Kaine said.
“This decision demonstrates how high a priority it is for the federal government to establish a transportation standards body.”
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