ICA takes Toll-TWU deal to competition tribunal

Small contractor group scales up its efforts against ‘big business’, ‘a big union’, and a ‘big regulator’

ICA takes Toll-TWU deal to competition tribunal
The ICA has appealed to the Australian Competition Tribunal


A bargaining agreement between Toll Holdings and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) is entering uncertain territory, after a third party group of sole proprietary businesses lodged a legal appeal with the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Independent Contractors Australia says the decision to allow the collective bargaining to proceed – made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last month – should be reversed.

It says neither organisation is fit to operate, given admissions of a deal that saw the union focus its safety and compliance inspections on Toll competitors in exchange for secret payments. 

The deal came to light during the Royal Commission into trade unions earlier this year.

"ICA submits that the TWU has previously and is presently engaged in coercive and anti-competitive activities," the organisation’s submission states.

"These activities … are to the detriment of small businesses, independent contractors and the economy generally."

The ACCC says it is investigating the allegations but insists they were not relevant to its decision to allow the enterprise bargaining.

A directions hearing, before tribunal deputy president Lindsay Foster, has been scheduled for the Federal Court in Sydney at 9.30am on Monday.

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