A MUSWELLBROOK company refutes union claims that it owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in employee privileges.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) recently stated it was currently working to claw back more than $200,000 in entitlements for ex-staff at BIGLIFT Cranes and Heavy Haulage.
The CFMEU alleges the business is more than 18 months behind on its superannuation payments to workers with outstanding expenses on other benefits, including long service leave, holiday pay and compensation.
“The company also goes into liquidation and then resurfaces under a new name,” a union official asserted.
“It is totally unscrupulous and the type of behaviour the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) should be targeting rather than whether building workers are wearing Eureka flags on their hard hats.”
But, a BIGLIFT Cranes and Heavy Haulage representative said the accusations were “simply not true”.
“The company has never deliberately gone into liquidation,” he told the Chronicle.
“It did happen [recently], however all the employee entitlements were taken up by the new company, which then pays them in the normal course of business.
“To date, not one employee has gone without their full entitlements.
“The union is guessing the $200,000 in entitlements from three disgruntled employees.
“The CFMEU hasn’t seen our payroll records – or know any of the facts.
“BIGLIFT is not a union employer and doesn’t need to comply with union demands.
“Superannuation is slightly in arrears, too.
“But, we have an understanding with the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) to bring that into order and all our employees understand and are happy with the arrangement.”
The BIGLIFT Cranes and Heavy Haulage representative admitted he was disappointed by the CFMEU’s stance.
“I met with the union over this matter and left it bewildered as to where they got their figure from,” he said.
“I was warned to ‘bow down to the unions or they will make our life hell’.
“I guess it’s the CFMEU’s way of blackmailing us.
“This is all over three employees who left a couple of years ago, having a dig at the company for money.
“The union’s statement does not reflect the values of BIGLIFT.
“We respect our employees and have always looked after them.
“Our guys are working plenty of overtime and earning very good money, not one of them would say a bad word about the company.
“Unfortunately, there are always a few you never make happy.”
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