Paper giant Visy electronically tracked workers on site
Multi-billion-dollar company used COVID as an excuse to monitor CFMEU officials at its Tumut mill.
The CFMEU manufacturing division NSW took Visy to the Fair Work Commission after the company insisted assistant secretary Alison Rudman wear a Bluetooth Harald Card – an electronic tracking device.
The union argued that this was unreasonable and that she feared her interactions with union members would be monitored.
“The issue of who wears these cards is the latest in a line of activities by Visy that appear intended to discourage their employees from being union members,” Alison Rudman told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The decision to ask the Fair Work Commission to resolve this issue was taken when in January, Visy management tried to expand the scope of who had to wear the cards, despite a change in the health advice by the state government that meant there was less tracking in everyday life.”
The company had introduced the electronic tracking of its workers at Tumut as a COVID measure at the same time the NSW government was scaling back the use of QR codes.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties president, Pauline Wright, questioned the appropriateness of the company’s actions.
“In this case, it’s probably legitimate to propose perimeter controls … [but] requiring people to wear a device that locates them inside the premises … it would seem to be disproportionate. It sounds pretty invasive to me,” she told the Herald.