Vic­tory for car car­rier driv­ers

Big Rigs - - OPINION - TWU NEWS RICHARD OLSEN TWU NSW State Sec­re­tary

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIBUTED

CAR­RI­ERS WIN: Driv­ers ex­pe­ri­ence mar­ket pres­sure from be­low they can­not ne­go­ti­ate with.

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