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Anderson slams VTU planned fuel strike

The VTA CEO labels the group’s threats “disgraceful”

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson has criticised the Victorian Tippers United’s (VTU) planned strike over rising diesel fuel prices, labelling its threat to strike as “disgraceful” and not representative of the industry’s views.

Luke McCrone of the VTU yesterday told 7News that the tip truck industry would go on strike next Monday and bring up to 200 tippers to the front of state Parliament House if there was no action on the rising diesel fuel prices.

This action from tip truck drivers would disrupt work on infrastructure projects including the West Gate Tunnel and various level-crossing removals.

Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan responded yesterday by telling Channel 7 the government would work through the issue with Industrial Relations Victoria.

Today she confirmed the Industrial Relations group “received a request and will give it due consideration”.

But the VTA CEO says the VTU’s threats to disrupt the tip truck industry is “disgraceful”.

“We’re working with the tippers section to try and get them to understand that a proper fuel surcharge is being put into place under a proper structure in relevance to their costs and needs,” Anderson says.

“Unfortunately, people like the VTU, who don’t have a true perspective on how to manage it, have come up with a hare-brained idea and think they can threaten the public and contracts by saying they want to stop trucks.

“It’s a disgrace, it shows their lack of understanding on how to negotiate proper outcomes.”

Anderson’s stance is clear, saying the VTA is “disappointed with this behaviour that’s not representative of the views of the entire industry”.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hassall says transport companies must ask for fuel surcharges to stay viable

As a solution, Anderson says there’s been a Victorian fuel mechanism structure in place since 2004 that the VTA recommends for transport companies, but which tipper groups haven’t used.

“The majority of the industry has used that mechanism, but unfortunately in the tipper industry they’ve been subjected to their own insular perspectives and haven’t put that into place,” he says.

“Now fuel prices have gone up and they realise they need one, so we’re working with industry bodies we’re associated with to ensure they get that recognition.”

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