Linfox gives truckies 12 percent pay rise under new deal

Subbies might be struggling to get higher rates, but Linfox has agreed to big wage increases for its employees

December 17, 2010

Truck drivers working for Linfox will receive a 12 percent pay rise over three years under a generous enterprise agreement struck with the Transport Workers Union.

Although some subcontractors have had their rates cut by Linfox, the transport and logistics operator will increase employee salaries by 4 percent each year for three years.

Linfox has also agreed to increase superannuation by 1 percent each year for six years until it reaches 15 percent. Casual workers will be made permanent after six months with the company.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon has called the agreement a "groundbreaking deal" that will deliver better safety and job security for Linfox employees.

"The company recognised they get performance from their workforce with permanency – this is a company that invests heavily in its workforce and are leading the way in the industry with further training," Sheldon says of Linfox.

He expects the agreement to be finalised by January and says it is important truck drivers are paid enough to make ends meet.

"The link between rates of pay and safety is clear – whenever truck drivers are not getting full cost recovery, including paid waiting times or full fuel reimbursement, they are going to be pushed to make a living. We need a system of safe rates in this country and we need it now," he says.

ACTU President Ged Kearney says other employers should follow Linfox’s lead in transitioning casuals to full-time positions.

"The new union collective agreement at Linfox is a pace setter which will drive higher productivity for the company over the next few years," Kearney says.

"Casuals do not have access to paid holidays, paid sick leave or many other entitlements that permanent employees receive and the extra pay loading they get does not compensate them for what they miss out on."

The deal follows Linfox’s decision to cut freight rates for subcontractors under its contract with Carter Holt Harvey.

The move sparked anger from small fleet operators and owner-drivers, who have walked away from Linfox claiming the rate offered is unsustainable.

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