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Toll strikes averted with more job security and record super

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Toll workers have secured job security protections and an industry-first 15 per cent superannuation offer in an in-principle agreement which will be put to national union delegates on Friday.

If endorsed, Toll workers will not take part in national strikes flagged for next week.

The offer includes enhanced job security protections including the same pay for outside hire as employees, limits on outsourcing, commitment to give employees first preference over all available work, and improvements to consultation and auditing rights to further protect employees from their work being contracted out.

In a statement released today, the union said the proposed agreement is a significant development following six months of negotiations and national strikes.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine commended Toll workers for staying strong and fighting off Toll’s bid to bring in a workforce on 30 per cent less pay and on fixed-term contracts.

“This is a major victory for Toll workers and sets an important precedent for transport operators still denying reasonable job security protections for employees,” said Kaine.

“This triumph is all the sweeter given the hard slog Toll workers have endured over the last couple of years battling mismanagement, cyber-attacks, a split of the company with half sold off during negotiations, and proposals to bring in an underclass of workers to undercut employees in their own yards.”

TWU NSW/Qld secretary and lead Toll negotiator Richard Olsen said it was good to see a positive result at the end of a bumpy road.

“It has been a long and difficult journey, but the finish line is in sight with Toll taking the lead. It is a testament to the strength and unity of TWU members that job security provisions were retrieved from Toll’s shredder and reinforced with extra protections,” said Olsen.

“The future is looking far brighter at Toll and in later life, with an industry-first offer of 15 per cent superannuation leading the way to dignity in retirement for frontline transport workers. The negotiating committee is pleased to have a decent offer to present to the membership who will, as always, have the final say.”

A Toll spokesperson told Big Rigs that the company is pleased to have reached an outcome the union supports for a new, in-principle enterprise bargaining agreement with employees.

“We’ve been negotiating with the union since April and our management team is pleased the negotiations went so well. We look forward to presenting this offer to our employees with the TWU’s endorsement,” the spokesperson said.

The new EBA preserves the already excellent conditions Toll employees enjoy while delivering a reasonable pay rise and extra superannuation that maintains our position as the leading employer in the transport industry.

“We’re pleased the union has acknowledged that our employees already have the best job security in the industry and that we need to keep flexibility in the workforce to respond to issues in the supply chain as they arise. Some of the union’s statements in respect of the outcomes, for example “the same pay for outside hire as employees” do not properly reflect the in-principle deal that was struck.

“Toll agreed to maintain provisions relating to job security already in the agreement, and agreed to some further protections, for example, relating to the outsourcing of work.”

Meanwhile, at negotiation meetings with Linfox, StarTrack and FedEx today, the union will present similar settlement proposals with job security provisions which provide guarantees for workers while allowing flexibility for companies.

“We implore StarTrack, FedEx, Linfox and BevChain to follow Toll’s lead and commit to the reasonable protections workers are seeking,” added Kaine.

“As Christmas draws nearer and negotiations reach their sixth month, it’s time to end the attack on jobs and prevent the need for further industrial action.”

A Senate inquiry into job security continues today with the TWU and a StarTrack worker due to give evidence this morning, followed by StarTrack, Toll and FedEx this afternoon.

Update – 7.30pm: The story was updated with comment from a Toll spokesperson.

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