Victory for car carrier drivers
CAR carrier contract drivers in NSW have had a great win this week, following industrial action involving about 100 drivers.
Like all truck drivers, car carrier drivers experience market pressure from below they cannot negotiate with.
They cannot negotiate the price of fuel with their vendor; they cannot negotiate the price of insurance and registration; and they cannot negotiate with their mortgage provider, yet the companies they contract to expect them to do their jobs for less money.
For many years, ownerdrivers who subcontract for the car-carrying industry (working for both the NSW dealer network and car manufacturers) have been negotiating rates with companies on a good faith basis, based on a document called the NSW Car Carriers Contract Determination.
The CCCD is an understanding between managers and drivers about how pay rates vary, based on a range of market forces.
Members of the Transport Workers’ Union have for years been negotiating and agreeing on rates with the Australian Industry Group, which represents car-carrying companies, from a mutual position of respect.
Recently, however, new managers came in and broke that good faith, instead deciding to dictate to drivers what they should be paid – despite knowing drivers’ families and businesses would lose out. Rates of pay proposed by managers would not even cover the costs of doing the job.
Drivers reported to the TWU they had been forced to dip into personal savings to bolster their businesses, and one driver had even been forced to move over $20,000 from his personal savings to ensure he could stay on the road.
After fruitless attempts to sit down with managers to negotiate a good deal, drivers warned that labour would be withdrawn if the situation continued.
It did continue, leaving drivers with no choice but to pull up their trucks and stop work. About 100 drivers took part, as it had become crystal clear this was the only way managers would listen.
And finally, they did. Due to the hard work of TWU members, drivers and the companies have now reached an agreement – a 3 per cent pay increase that enables drivers to recover their costs, stay on the road and keep their businesses alive.
This is a fantastic win, and proof that when we stand united, we cannot be defeated.
Tip Top bread drivers robbed by NSW Liberals
It is an outrage, but unfortunately not a surprise, that the NSW Liberals knocked out of parliament a bill that would have extended industrial rights and protections to truck drivers delivering bread, milk and cream.
An antiquated exemption currently applies to these drivers, but last month NSW Labor MP Greg Warren introduced a bill to give them the same rights as all other transport workers, including the right to go to the NSW Industrial Relations Commission for dispute resolution.
This means the Tip Top owner-drivers, who are currently in a high-profile fight for better conditions, have been robbed of their chance to have a voice and take the matter to the IRC.
Another shameful attack by the Liberals.
CARRIERS WIN: Drivers experience market pressure from below they cannot negotiate with.