Taxi industry (Contract Drivers) Contract Determination 1984 – The Application for it’s variation was unusually absent from the regular law list column of the Sydney Morning Herald dated Monday 6th of July 2009. Mike found out about it electronically on Sunday night (Monday morning) via the secondary means of it being listed for hearing by the NSW IRC website. After discovering this he ran to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission the following morning. Apart from the NSW Transport Workers Union and NSW Taxi Industry Association, all other key stake holders and their representatives were missing and did not put in an appearance! For some reason not completely clear to us at the present, the matter itself was adjourned that day for a new date for hearing on Friday, July 17, 2009.
However we found out on Tuesday night that the hearing was in fact to be at 11.00 am, Wednesday 15th of July 2009. Most of us then scrambled, got organized and made our way to the NSW IRC on that new and earlier date. We were told that the President of the NSW IRC had called all of the judges and commissioners to inform them that from now on, according to new and impending legislation by the Rudd led Federal government, that from very shortly onwards all of the conciliation hearings will be heard by Commissioners and arbitration hearing will be heard by Judges in the NSW IRC, and that this would occur in nearly all other states! Thus, we were then informed, the scheduled hearing set for 11.00 am that day would now be held at 2.00 pm, as all Commissioners and Judges at the NSW IRC were called away to hear from their IRC President for fuller details on this topic. This calling away by their superior took precedent over any other listed matter.
While Mike and Jools were departing from the Commission, they observed CC Connor and a few officials and lawyers from the NSW Taxi Industry Association were walking together towards a restaurant outside. A few minutes later Faruque also saw them together at that local eatery! It painted a very cosy and revealing picture to any interested observer. The Commissioner and no else but the bailor’s representatives both going together for their morning tea break.
Later just before 2.00 pm, prior to the hearing the TWU lawyers hurriedly arrived and as they did so one asked Mike, “Do you think we are going to have any fire works today from the third parties in this matter?” (He was referring to Faruque’s possible appearance or intervention during the proceedings).
Mike smiled to the TWU legal advocates and a short time later spoke to Faruque about those comments. Faruque’s reply was, “I will keep it quite if things go all right. However, if they or anyone apply their usual tricks against bailee drivers, then I will stand up and do whatever I think is fit and appropriate to do”.
At 2.00 pm the hearing begun with Connor’s usual verbal tricks. The TIA lawyers went on to ask for all the money in lifting the Pay In for their bailor client. The TWU lawyer opposed the TIA lawyer by using valid and well presented points in his response. This was possibly a first for the TWU. Connor went on to elbow him out! Michael Jools who lodged a submission to the Commission a week earlier, he then stood up to attempt to intervene and be heard on behalf of bailee drivers. Within 30 seconds Connor ‘knocked him down’ verbally, all with an undeniable urgency and desire to hand over the meter increase money across to the taxi bosses, by lifting the Pay Ins.
Faruque then stood up to intervene and to be heard and asked CC Connor to step aside and not to hear the matter. He did so politely and with due courtesy. As part of his sparkling presentation he handed over his document titled CC Connor Must Resign (shown below) to all parties including Connor. Connor accepted the document labeling it as Exhibit 3. No other parties raised objections about the contents of CC Connor Must Resign letter at that time.
CC Connor and Faruque then had a few interesting exchanges like, “Mr. Ahmed you should have spoken earlier, it is too late now, …. I am already hearing the matter and I can’t stop it now, …. “. During these exchanges we found out many inaccuracies, selective memory losses and cruel jokes coming from Connor. Regardless of what was said to him, he handed over the money from the taxi meter to the taxi bosses (bailors) without considering bailees (workers) income at all. It was another sad moment for all the taxi workers of this state.
Mike and Faruque