The most recent EBA meeting with dnata was held on the 25 May in Sydney. The meeting was dominated by the dnata presentation on the now familiar theme of how they are “uncompetitive” compared with other ground handling companies, and, how should we conduct these negotiations in the future.
dnata presented some sample information (Ramp and Cargo in Sydney) to demonstrate they pay above their competitors. While this was nowhere near convincing, the methodology itself was full of problems. It was pointed out to management by the unions that for any sample to have validity it must have such things as:
• be conducted across 12 weeks or even 52 weeks;
• it must be done on a port by port basis; and
• it must compare hours of work and possibly classifications etc.
The company acknowledged this and said it would keep working on comparisons with the Award, with competitor agreements and over a significant roster period. This material would be presented to the meeting over the next few weeks. Then and only then would the ASU be able to properly respond to any argument about “competitiveness”.
Considerable time was then spent on the conduct of these negotiations in the future. The ASU complained that the organization of the EBA meetings by dnata was haphazard and left to the last minute. All present complained that the EBA meeting venue kept shifting and it was always unclear whether videoconferencing facilities would be available for those outside of Sydney, and the efficiency and location of those facilities. The unions presented a document (attached) on the process for future EBA meetings.
dnata admitted that at times their videoconferencing facilities were inadequate and would consider the union document further. However, the following was agreed:
- That the next EBA meeting would be on June 7 2017 at 10am in Sydney. That this would be the last combined meeting of Pax and Ramp and Cargo (before the negotiations separate) so the company can present further material to all concerned and present to the meeting its Log of Claims.
- That by the 15 June 2017 the unions would submit their Log of Claims to the company. The unions pointed out that we needed member meetings to endorse the logs. The company agreed to facilitate those meetings.
- The following EBA meetings would occur on the 22 June 2017 in Sydney. The Ramp and Cargo EBA negotiation would occur at 10am and then followed by the Pax EBA at 2pm.
It was disappointing to see that on the same day as our bargaining meeting, dnata CEO Daniela Marsilli wrote to staff advising that AHSA had won the customer service for Air Canada at Sydney Airport. It shows that dnata are not serious about resolving matters in EBA discussions as they have claimed they wish to do if they didn't even bother to advise your representatives of this development.
The company can try to spin this as much as they like but the truth is that their strategy is about attacking conditions and cutting wages by undermining existing collective agreements. A business model that places all the risk on current dnata workers. It’s insulting for dnata to claim that this strategy is somehow going to protect the employment of current dnata staff.
Now is the time to stick together
We cannot and will not be intimidated by dnata's actions. Now is the time to stick together, both in our current bargaining and on the ground at every airport.
We intend to hold members' meetings as soon as possible to discuss our strategies and next steps so watch out for further details.
Please contact your ASU Delegate or ASU Organiser in your state (download the full bulletin below for details)