ACCC backs collective bargaining for PN negotiations

Competition watchdog allows furniture removalists to collectively bargain with Pacific National to secure better rates

December 17, 2009

Furniture removalists have been given the go ahead to collectively negotiate with Pacific National to secure better price and volume rebates for rail services.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says it will not oppose the collective bargaining proposal lodged by the eight companies.

They will be represented by Chess Moving Australia, and the ACCC says removalists often use a rail freight service providers for interstate and long distance relocations.

"Negotiating collectively provides the removalists with an opportunity to negotiate more favourable rebates than they may be able to individually and may also result in costs savings in negotiations," ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel says.

"The ACCC considers that the possible anti-competitive effect of the collective bargaining arrangement is minimal as the arrangement is voluntary and the group is small."

The decision follows an ACCC ruling in February last year granting another group of removalists the right to collectively bargain with Pacific National.

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