Union seeks answers from Hazeldene's at Fair Work

THE National Union of Workers will take Hazeldene's to Fair Work on Wednesday, claiming the employer is standing down employees and forcing them to reapply for their jobs.

The union claims the company has instituted a process that sees existing warehouse positions declared vacant and workers required to reapply.

The union claims Hazeldene's is forcing long-term, loyal employees to reapply for their jobs in what the company calls a 'spill and fill process'.

It will ask the Fair Work commission to put a stop to employees being stood down and forced to reapply for their jobs.

The union is also seeking back pay for those that have been stood down.

But Hazeldene's says the company is not out to further casualise its workforce and the union has confused two separate matters.

General manager James Thompson said the business conducted a major review of its warehouse operations with the intent of modernising its organisational structure and better fit current and future demands with a view to sustaining employment.

He said the structural changes in warehousing would not impact on staffing levels. 

"The ‘spill and fill’ process is aimed at maximising the efficiency of the department, improving work/life balance and cross skilling for staff,'' he said.

The union has also raised concerns about permanent part time employees being requested to convert to casual employment.

But Mr Thompson said the reference to part time workers had nothing to do with the warehousing structure. 

He said Hazeldene’s consulted widely with the affected staff and NUW in relation to the warehouse review required by the Enterprise Agreement. Mr Thompson said that consultation included feedback sessions with the NUW on proposed changes.

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