ACCC gives Toll and TWU green light on Brisbane couriers

Sims says Royal Commission on unions evidence is separate to routine and narrow authorisation

ACCC gives Toll and TWU green light on Brisbane couriers
Rod Sims sees any public detriment as likely to be limited


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has authorised 76 air-freight courier owner-drivers represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to collectively bargain with Toll in Brisbane.

In doing so, it acknowledged strong objections from one individual and two small-business representative organisations, the Combined Small Business Alliance of Western Australia (CoSBA) and the Independent Contractors Australia (ICA).

The three submissions against pointed to Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption evidence relating to close links between the company and the union and "collusive" behaviour stemming from that.

However, the ACCC declares that supply of the courier services at the Toll Priority Brisbane depot was a "separate" matter.

"The authorisation granted is narrow in nature, applying to a confined group of owner drivers providing services to Toll Transport at only one of its locations," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims states.

"In the ACCC’s view the conduct it has been asked to authorise is routine collective bargaining conduct by small business that is entirely separate to the broader considerations currently before the Royal Commission.

"The ACCC considers that the proposed collective bargaining arrangement is likely to result in public benefit, particularly for these small business owner drivers, in the form of transaction cost savings, better market information for the supply of air freight courier services, and the development of more efficient contracts and business practices with Toll Transport.

"The public detriment is likely to be limited as it only involves a small group of owner drivers operating at the Toll Priority Brisbane Depot.

"Furthermore, the authorised arrangements do not provide for any collective boycott action, participation in the bargaining process is voluntary for owner drivers and Toll Transport."

Authorisation extends to October 31, 2017.


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