Ron Finemore Transport signs off on new TWU deal


Four-year enterprise agreement allows for driver wage and superannuation increases, while also focusing on safety across the company

Ron Finemore Transport signs off on new TWU deal
Ron Finemore's focus is on safety

 

Ron Finemore Transport and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have welcomed a new enterprise agreement covering around 500 drivers across the company’s east coast operations in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The deal allows for wage increases of 3.5 per cent a year, and an increase in employer superannuation contributions to 13 per cent (currently 11 per cent) of gross salary.

Loyalty bonuses of between 0.5 per cent and 1.0 per cent are also available to drivers after two years’ service.

But it is the direct and indirect safety provisions that will have the most industry-wide impact, both executive chairman Ron Finemore and TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said during a signing ceremony in Wagga Wagga.

The company has reiterated its support for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s safety rating scheme.

The deal also requires constant two-way communication between the company and its drivers through regular "toolbox" meetings and other forums.

The deal also cements in place processes to investigate safety concerns before they become incidents.

"Safety in the trucking industry has always been a passion of mine and I would encourage other regional operators to help build a safer industry," Finemore says.

"The agreement is a powerful statement to transport operators across Australia that drivers are commited to working together with their employers to build a safer road transport industry."

Sheldon says the safety aspects of the deal were a vital consideration, given the industry has a workplace fatality rate 15 times the average of other sectors.

"Operators like Ron understand that drivers and companies should work cooperatively to tackle the hundreds of fatal truck crashes each year," he says.

 "In a low-margin industry, companies have a choice of the high road (with staff safety and welfare given priority) and the low road. The high road brings employees into the business and ends up with a more productive, highly engaged workforce."

The enterprise agreement also includes provisions for any outside contract hire to be employed on the same terms as regular staff.

The agreement has been approved by the Fair Work Commission. It will run from November 12, 2014 until a provisional expiry date of June 30, 2018.

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