Linfox's EBA 'game-changer' gets the all clear

Wage rises for Linfox truck drivers will begin on July 1, but Queensland employees will need to wait until October

Linfox's EBA 'game-changer' gets the all clear
Linfox's EBA 'game-changer' passes
By Brad Gardner | May 24, 2011

Linfox truck drivers will soon receive their first part of a 12 percent wage rise after Fair Work Australia passed the company's new enterprise bargaining agreement.

Labelled a "game-changer" by NSW Transport Workers Union (TWU) Secretary Wayne Forno, the three-year agreement locks in annual 4 percent wage rises.

Superannuation entitlements will rise by 1 percent each year, reaching 12 percent during the life of the agreement. The wage and superannuation increases will begin from July 1, although workers in Queensland will need to wait until October 1.

In a written statement to TWU members, Forno says the agreement "marks a turning point for wages and working conditions for drivers throughout our industry".

"The Linfox agreement is a game-changer for our industry which sets the standard high for wages and conditions in the future," he writes.

The agreement also puts the onus on Linfox to use all available staff before outsourcing work to other transport companies or owner-drivers.

It will be required to pay sub-contractors the same rates as employees and ensure owner-drivers can sufficiently recover costs.

"Linfox shall include in all existing and any new contracts issued to owner drivers, a rise and fall clause to ensure appropriate mechanisms are in place for rate reviews," the agreement reads.

All new employees will need to complete the TWU-approved Bluecard safety training program. Drivers will be required to fill out a safe driving plan, which records details such as departure and arrival times, rest breaks and remuneration.

The TWU was planning to finalise the agreement by January. National Secretary Tony Sheldon last year called it a "groundbreaking deal" that would deliver better safety and job security for Linfox employees.

"The company recognised they get performance from their workforce with permanency – this is a company that invests heavily in its workforce and are leading the way in the industry with further training," Sheldon said last year.

The union has driven a hard bargaining campaign to secure new agreements with some of the country’s largest transport companies.

It waged a protracted and bitter strike against TNT Express and took nationwide action against Australian Air Express.

Similar to the Linfox agreement, the union scored a 12 percent wage rise for TNT workers and superannuation increases of up to 1.5 percent as long as TNT reaches set profit targets.

AAE gave in to the TWU after strikes were held at depots in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. It agreed to a 14 percent wage rise over three years and to limit the use of outside labour.

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