Autocare drivers walking off job


The TWU is supporting Autocare drivers who choose to walk off the job over rate disputes today

Autocare drivers walking off job
Autocare drivers are today parking up and walking off the job over pay rate disputes

Autocare drivers in both Queensland and Victoria are today parking and walking off the job to attend urgent stop work meetings over recent pay cuts.

Autocare workers will have their pay slashed to $1.65 per kilometre, leading to the Transport Workers Union (TWU) urging major car brands to stop using car carrying services until Autocare can secure proper pay.

In both the Port of Brisbane and Melbourne, more than 100 drivers have stopped working to continue their efforts to negotiate new rates, which has been ongoing for nine months.

Autocare drivers are currently receiving a rate of $1.70 per kilometre, which drivers argue already doesn’t meet the costs of their work and has instead forced them to transport new and imported cars across the country to squeeze margins.

But Autocare is now proposing to reduce rates further to $1.65 for owner drivers working for the company.

In response, Autocare drivers are asking for $1.94 per kilometre to recover costs and pay wages.

While surging fuel costs continue to cause compounding margin stress for drivers, the strike is set to help them campaign for an increased rate to meet the current fuel levy.

Drivers are arguing that the current fuel levy doesn’t meet the increased cost of fuel, with the drivers seeking a fixed rate in line with the interstate drivers of the company who currently receive $1.20 per litre.

In a joint statement, TWU Victoria/ Tasmania branch secretary Mike McNess and TWU Queenslander director of organising Jared Abbott are slamming the offer made by Autocare to its drivers.

"The TWU is calling on Toyota, Mitsubishi, Havel and Great Wall to stop using Autocare until it properly pays drivers in this vital link of the supply chain," McNess and Abbott say.

"A supply chain can’t sustainably work if drivers make more money parking up than they do delivering the goods."

The TWU pair say that trucking is Australia’s deadliest industry with an average of 180 deaths a year and say that it’s because of these wealthy clients who financially squeeze transport contracts from the top of the supply chain.


RELATED ARTICLE: How do we make Australian roads safer?


According to McNess and Abbott, this negatively impacts the safety of truck drivers across the country.

"As margins continue to shrink or disappear altogether, drivers are pushed to new and dangerous extremes," they say.

"Autocare is making an already dangerous industry deadly with its unsafe offer, which will make it impossible for drivers to earn a proper living."

The pair are calling for the federal government to create a proper body that delivers fair and sustainable rates to drivers.

According to the TWU, the government continues to ignore the findings of a Senate inquiry from last year that recommends the federal government establish an independent tribunal with power to ensure all owner drivers and transport operators can cover their costs.

"The previous federal government abolished the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which had the power to ensure cost recovery for owner drivers and small transport operators and replaced it with nothing," McNess and Abbott say.

"We need to legislate safe rates across Australia so that all transport workers, whether they’re owner drivers or working in the gig economy, can get a proper rate of pay that secures them a living, not enough to just scrape by."

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