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Union calls Toll back to negotiating table to broker better deal

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To avoid further strikes, the union wants Toll to return to the negotiating table and join them in fighting for an independent trucking body.

At a media conference earlier today, Transport Workers Union national secretary Michael Kaine said it was a regrettable day with 7000 workers walking off for job for 24 hours since midnight last night.

But Kaine said the logistics giant had left them no other choice with its proposal to contract out up to 40 per cent of the work it does in each state.

“That would create a second strata, an under-class of workers in Toll which is a direct threat to the job security to those workers who have built good conditions in that company over the time,” Kaine said.

Kaine conceded that Toll has to this point been a good comany and together with its workforce in partnership it has built up good secure terms and conditions.

“But wages mean nothing if you don’t have a job. And that’s what these workers are saying today,” he said.

“This isn’t a wage dispute. This is a dispute about whether these workers will have a job the day after they sign the document and that’s not at all clear.

“Until it is very, very clear these workers will keep fighting.”

Long-time Toll fleet controller Margaret Harvey said that overall Toll has been a great company to work for.

“We didn’t want to strike today. But we’ve got nowhere else to go. Our jobs are directly under attack,” Harvey said.

“We have sub-contracted drivers at work who work alongside Toll drivers who don’t share the same equality, workplace rights and conditions.

“It’s not fair and if Toll had their way they’d introduce more of that.

“These people deserve a living wage. Toll should join with us and take the fight to the federal government and say lift the industry standards.”

Kaine called for Toll to return to the negotiating table and take the “high ground” by putting in place a “responsible agreement” that protects, fosters and nurtures the finanical secuirty of the workers and their families.

“Then, together, let’s go to the federal government, hand-in-hand and say to Scott Morrison you need to implement all 10 recommendations of the Senate inquiry that was tabled on Wednesday night in our federal parliament.

“There should be independent body in place that has the capacity to create and enforce standards and make sure that companies like Amazon can’t push pods of workers outside of our industrial protections, pit them in competition with companies which up until this point have been good companies, like Toll and Linfox and force them to attack their own workforce, to cannabalise their own company.

“That’s on Scott Morrison and he needs to step up here and play a role.”

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