The ASU has recently witnessed what we see as an increasing attempt by HR and management at City of Greater Geelong to shut down or diminish attempts by the ASU to communicate with our members and delegates, causing increasing frustration and anger amongst the ranks.

In January ASU Organiser Luke Cherry sought paid meetings to attend the Belmont, Corio and Drysdale depots to provide union members with updates around a number of important issues, and help avoid misinformation. These meetings were in the interests of CoGG as well as ASU members.

The response from HR was to refuse any paid meetings. When unpaid meetings were agreed as a compromise, their reply was to reduce and change the requested times (in one case to when members would not be at the site), and to arrange out-of-the-way meeting rooms instead of using the common rooms. These are draconian tactics used by employers who want to stifle the vital role of a trade union.

ASU delegates at CoGG have also requested monthly delegates’ meetings; these were also refused by HR. This is disappointing as these meetings assist union delegates to efficiently resolve workplace issues, share information and support one another, helping to ‘spread the load’ and empower each other to play a more active role in the workplace. Ironically this is something CoGG were trying to encourage at the most recent consultative committee, but apparently don’t care enough to actually provide the resources to achieve it.

ASU representatives do not find this approach acceptable, and are currently working with delegates to develop a plan to address and resolve the dispute.

Unions are at their most effective when communication flows between officials, delegates and members. If your employer is trying to stop this from happening, contact your ASU Organiser.

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