AMWU members at sleep disorder equipment maker ResMed have shown they are wide awake to the need for the union to represent the workforce on-site by giving evidence before the Fair Work Commission.
Ten of our members from ResMed gave evidence last week in the latest round of a long, complex and costly legal fight by their employer to stop the AMWU from representing workers at its factory and offices in Sydney.
AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian said the workers’ determination to assert their workplace right to representation was an inspiration to everyone at the union.
“It hasn’t been easy for our members at ResMed but they have shown the strength to more than match the company in persistence and see this through so they are treated with fairness and respect,” he said.
“Ten of them have gone before the Fair Work Commission to say that they want union representation.
“The union will back them all the way. We are committed to doing whatever is legally necessary to give our members at ResMed the assistance and representation that they want.”
Telling it like it is: witnesses at the Commission included AMWU members (L:R) Anh Tran (standing); Richard Leung (standing); Jitendra Singh (standing); Barton Smith; Domingo Bautista; Richard Ewe; Noel Diaz and Diana Phung.
The AMWU has been active at ResMed since 1996.
In 2013 the Union applied for a majority support determination from the FWC, backed by a petition signed by more than half the non-supervisory production, maintenance and warehouse workers.
Since then, the company has tried everything to stop the AMWU representing and bargaining for any ResMed worker. Over the last two years, they have taken extensive legal action in the Commission and the Federal Court.
Last week’s Commission hearing concerned an AMWU application to vary our rules to allow clear coverage of all ResMed employees.
The company is opposing this, and has made its own application for orders to stop the union from representing any ResMed employee, even if they wanted to be a member.
AMWU members Jatendra Singh and Barton Smith each told AMWU News they decided to give evidence to show that workers really did want the union to represent them.
“ResMed is an award-winning exporter and I’d like to advance,” said Mr Smith, who has worked as a production operator at ResMed for 14 years.
“I need my union to make sure fair procedures are in place, we need our conditions and our rights.
“Last time I checked, many people working there wanted to be in the union - we’ve had people still joining the union, quite lately.”
Mr Singh, a warehouse worker, said that he wanted ResMed to recognise the AMWU and that he “definitely” wants ResMed to bargain for an enterprise agreement.
“We need protection for the workers. If something goes wrong tomorrow you have someone to rely on, to help you out. I wouldn’t be able to go to court by myself,” he said.
The hearings before the Commission and the Federal Court are continuing.