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TWU NSW buries Owens Transport owner-driver hatchet

New deal reached after industrial action on cancellation of former agreement


Transport Workers Union NSW’s (TWU NSW’s) industrial dispute with Mainfreight’s wharf cartage subsidiary, Owens Transport, has been put to bed for at least another year.

Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) documents show a new agreement was reached on September 11, titled Owens Transport Pty Ltd – TWU New South Wales Contract Carriers Agreement 2020 and will operate until September 11, 2021.

It replaces the Owens Transport Pty Limited – TWU New South Wales – Chipping Norton Contract Carriers Agreement, the cancellation of which raised the union’s ire.

While the commission approved the rates not be published, it notes “the terms and conditions of the Agreement are in addition to the conditions of engagement under the Contract Determination. The rates provided under the Agreement are higher than the Contract Determination”.

The agreement will apply to all contract carriers “engaged by the Company to perform work at or from the Company’s container transport division operations currently located at Banksmeadow”.

How the Owens/TWU issue came to a head last month, here

The affidavit of NSW TWU state secretary Richard Olsen notes “the process of negotiation involved several months of discussions between the TWU, the Carriers and the management of the Company” and the agreement has been endorsed by the carriers.

In a statement to ATN, Olsen says “the union sees the agreement with Owens as a huge victory for owner drivers.

“Owens – Mainfreight notified the commission that they were cancelling an agreement that had been in place for 16 years.

“Drivers at Owens remained united and took actions against the company.

“In 2020, nothing comes easy, but the decision by Owens-Mainfreight to remove the agreement was reversed and the Union then negotiated better terms and conditions for Owner-Drivers.

“The TWU looks forward to negotiating that agreement again next year as we seek to make advances for drivers on the waterfront.”


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