Media release re Class action against Tandem (formally ISGM)

Legal Action against Telstra Contractor Tandem, largest sham arrangements case in Australia.

The CWU Victorian and NSW T&S branches welcome the announcement of a class action against Telstra contractor Tandem (formerly ISGM). We have always believed this contractual arrangement to be an employment relationship that was grossly unfair to the workers involved, many of them made redundant by Telstra. In more recent years Tandem utilised a traineeship that targeted very vulnerable long-term unemployed people.

The CWU Vic branches have run a number of unfair dismissal cases on behalf of these workers and they have always settled before they got a hearing on the jurisdictional question of employee v contractor said Val Butler (CWU Vic Industrial Officer) who along with Dan Dwyer ran most of the cases. “We are very happy that this question will finally be fully ventilated.”

The CWU tried a number of times between 2011 – 15 to bring these matters before a court on the question of sham arrangements supported by CWU National Secretary Dan Dwyer   but for various reasons a case could not be commenced.

CWU Vic Asst Sec John Ellery said “ we are delighted to be involved in this case, it has been a long time coming for our members and other workers in the industry. The case is made much more compelling because these workers had to work on a seriously aging and damaged network which made their task so much more difficult. This also made it very challenging for them to make any sort of a decent living under this sham dressed up as contracting.

The union expects that most of the unions members that worked under this arrangement for Tandem/ISGM will join the class action.

For media comment contact:

In Victoria:
John Ellery Vic CWU T&S Phone: 0419 823580
Val Butler CWU Vic P&T Phone: 0408 766444

Dan Dwyer CWU T&S NSW Phone: (02) 9281 2811