TWU pushes for driver wage and super increases

Trucking companies will come under pressure from the TWU over driver wages and superannuation contributions in new enterprise agreements

TWU pushes for driver wage and super increases
TWU pushes for driver wage and super increases
By Rob McKay | September 27, 2010

The Transport Workers Union will push for new inclusions in upcoming enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) negotiations, including higher wages, increased superannuation contributions and driver training initiatives.

The union has released the results of a survey of just under 2500 drivers, with 90 percent backing fuel conservation training. The TWU wants the savings of any scheme passed down to drivers. It was not clear what outcome the remaining 10 percent wanted.

The Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) is reportedly not opposed outright to the idea but has raised concerns about the timing for many EBA talks.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the TWU is looking for a 4 percent wage rise with a 2 percent lift in superannuation contributions in dealings with the biggest transport and logistics organisations such as Linfox, Toll and K&S Freighters.

ARTIO Industrial Relations Advisor Paul Ryan says the figures have not been put to him but that a 6 percent aggregate rise in employment costs is "over the top" compared with the 3-4 percent average outcome.

The TWU had not returned ATN’s call at deadline today.

With the freight task set to double in the next 10 years, TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says it is important to protect jobs and make a difference to the environment.

"The TWU has had a long-term view that the way trucks are operated has an effect on the environment, and our members, the government and responsible companies have been taken measures to minimise those effects," Sheldon says.

"The NSW government has introduced paid waiting times at Botany Bay and if this is rolled out across the country, it will have a large effect on the emissions from trucks."

Sheldon says there are instances of drivers sitting in line for 10 hours a week and not being paid for it. He claims it contributes an extra eight tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

"The way a driver operates the vehicle can make a large difference to fuel consumption, and that in itself is a cost saver and leads to a more sustainable road transport industry," he says.

"At the same time, responsible employers should acknowledge the cost saving and reward drivers, and the TWU will be raising this issue in talks with companies over the coming months."

Sheldon says it is important to get a fuel efficiency program running under an agreement with major employers. More than 35,000 employees are represented in the bargaining round.

"Over the coming weeks, we will be taking the detailed training proposal to delegate meetings and yard meetings for a vote to measure the extent of the support for the training," Sheldon says.

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