On 8 October 2014 United Voice again appeared before Commissioner Roe of the Fair Work Commission to oppose Serco Sodexo Defence Services’ attempts not to pay redundancy to its Northern Territory/Kimberly defence staff, whose employment ended on 30 September.
In the material presented to Fair Work Commission, Serco has been unable to establish that any worker who got a job with the incoming contractors has had their service or sick leave recognised. Both incoming contractors have provided evidence to the Commission stating that there is no arrangement in place to carry forward workers’ entitlements. On application by United Voice, a Wilson Security senior manager was ordered to attend the Commission. In her evidence the Wilson representative told the Commission that:
"… it appeared to Wilson Security that SSDS was trying to create a situation where SSDS could avoid paying its employees redundancy pay by attempting to insert itself in the recruitments process being conducted by Wilson Security’"
All the witnesses have now finished giving their evidence. United Voice was the only union whose members appeared as witnesses and the only party that presented any evidence opposing Serco’s application. The matter is back before Commissioner Roe on Tuesday 14 October 2014 when arguments will be heard concerning the Northern Territory redundancies.
SSDS’s contracts in Queensland, NSW and ACT end later in 2014 and similar applications have been made by the company for those contracts. United Voice is coordinating opposition to these applications which seek to deny 1500 workers redundancy pay.
A further update will be posted following the hearing on 14 October 2014. Contact United Voice Member Service Centre on 1800 805 027 for more information.