TWU sets out stall in FWC award review

By: Rob McKay


NatRoad doesn’t engage in exchange as union presses for changed

TWU sets out stall in FWC award review
The FWC is reviewing industry awards.

 

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has taken industry groups, particularly the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad), to task before the Fair Work Commission (FWC) as evidence is heard this week on award changes.

The Road Transport and Distribution Award2010 and the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2010 are undergoing their four-yearly Modern Awards reviews and the process has been bubbling away for a year.

NatRoad has already said it will oppose any TWU proposed changes that "would impose costs on members by adding to the costs of employing drivers without any productivity offsets".

It has concerns on a new ‘pick up and drop off’ allowance and is waiting to see if making up on workers compensation to 100 per cent of wages will be pursued.

However, the TWU has honed in on "chronic underpayment" of drivers it says is prevalent in the industry.

"NatRoad and other employer groups must be held accountable for this disgraceful robbing of drivers’ incomes," TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon says.

"These drivers work hard and they must be paid fairly for all their work.

"Not paying employee drivers undercuts other parts of our industry, including owner drivers.

"This pushing down of pay and rates must stop."

The TWU says it is asking the FWC to:

  • ensure employers give drivers a copy of their safe driving plan, so that drivers can work to a realistic schedule that takes into account rest breaks and time spent loading and unloading
  • end the practice where employers can flip drivers onto different transport awards from long-distance to local work to avoid paying overtime
  • ensure drivers who relocate trucks are included on the transport awards – and not forced onto minimum wages as currently happens
  • refuse NatRoad and AI Group demands to curb meal allowances for drivers
  • refuse their demands to stop paying drivers more wages when they perform higher duties.

For its part, NatRoad would not be drawn into an exchange.

"We consider the TWU’s claims inaccurate in describing what the proceedings in the Commission are really about," a NatRoad spokesperson says. 

"NatRoad has lodged comprehensive submissions opposing new regulatory requirements and we will have more to say about this in the future.

NatRoad is opposing the five claims brought forward by the TWU as unnecessary for the reasons we set out in detail in the submission lodged with the Commission."

The TWU’s submissions Long Distance Award can be found here and for the Distribution Award here.

The NatRoad submissions can be found here.

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