Almost 10,000 transport workers at major operators Toll, Team Global Express, and ACFS have successfully reached in-principle agreements, according to the Transport Workers Union (TWU).
The union said the accords future-proof jobs, deliver good pay increases, and lift standards for a more inclusive and supportive workplace.
“Job security improvements across the three major operators provide better casual conversion rights and apply tighter restrictions on how much work can be performed by external labour-hire workers at each worksite,” a union statement said.
“By the end of the three-year Team Global Express agreement, at least 70 per cent of all work must be performed by direct employees at every worksite.”
The in-principle agreements are being endorsed by delegates and will go to a member vote.
Agreements are yet to be settled at other major operators Linfox, Bevchain, Ron Finemore and Ceva.
The in-principle agreements come ahead of the tabling of transport reform and legislation to close loopholes that allow work to be outsourced to lower-paid labour hire workers doing the same job as employees covered by enterprise agreements.
The deals also follow a job security battle two years ago, involving protected industrial action across several major transport operators as the ‘Amazon Effect’ threatened to squeeze out good, secure transport jobs to compete with exploitative gig models, the union added.
The TWU said the deals further address driver shortages by creating a more inclusive workplace, training and development schemes, and pay increases between 11 per cent and up to 12.75 per cent at Team Global Express (dependent on CPI) over the next three years.
Workers will gain access to cultural and religious leave, additional days of paid domestic violence leave, improved paid parental leave provisions, and the commencement of a mental health first-aid training programme.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine congratulated workers on improving the quality and security of transport jobs.
“Thousands of transport workers have stood strong together to achieve strong agreements despite the ongoing crisis in transport,” Kaine said.
“TWU members have built on the successes of an extremely challenging job security battle in 2021 as operators felt the squeeze of client pressure and unfair competition from the unregulated gig economy.
Kaine said major transport operators are now on board with restrictions on the use of lower-paid labour hire to provide more good, secure transport jobs.
“In addition to industry-leading agreements, these major transport operators signed on to support the push for lifesaving transport reform to set fair, safe and sustainable industry standards, providing trucks for their employees to participate in nationwide convoys earlier this month.
“We are on the cusp of turning transport from an industry in crisis to one where every supply chain participant can thrive, and even more importantly – survive. We call on federal parliament to urgently pass reform when it is tabled in the coming weeks.”