Aboriginal hostel workers to be forced on to AWAs

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Aboriginal hostel workers to be forced on to AWAs

The Federal Government has been accused of directing the management of Aboriginal hostels to refuse to negotiate a collective agreement with the workforce.

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The Federal Government has been accused of directing the management of Aboriginal hostels to refuse to negotiate a collective agreement with the workforce.

Aboriginal Hostels Ltd (AHL) provides temporary accommodation and associated services to Indigenous Australians at more than 100 sites across the country.

The collective agreement between AHL and the workers’ union, the LHMU, is scheduled to expire this month but the union says that earlier this year the management of the company announced they were not going to negotiate a new agreement and have refused to negotiate ever since.

‘In the past, there have been three collective agreements reached between AHL and their workers,’ LHMU Assistant National Secretary, Tim Ferrari, said.

Non-negotiable

‘Now they’ve made it clear that despite the workforce’s wish, the management of AHL do not want another collective agreement.

‘They have made it clear that this decision is non-negotiable. Their hard-line stance seems to have come as a directive from their bosses in the Federal Government.

‘If the workforce doesn’t want to sign AWAs their only option is to stay with the existing outdated collective agreement with no guaranteed pay rises.’

Ferrari said the LHMU is seeking support from other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community groups and leaders for the workforces’ choice for a collective agreement and for fair negotiations to commence immediately.

Staffing concerns

He said union members also have legitimate concerns about staffing levels and overall levels of resourcing.

Ferrari said this is perplexing given that the AHL budget has, for a number of years, been turning a profit.

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