Victorian tipper drivers have given the Andrews government until March 28 to stump up with a new fuel levy, or they will stop work for a day on state government jobs in protest.
A huge turnout of disgruntled Victorian Tippers United (VTU) members unanimously voted to take action after a meeting yesterday.
VTU secretary Luke McCrone says they’re asking for an increase of between $60 to $180, depending on the size of the truck.
The state government’s current cost model pays tip-truck drivers $1.40 a litre, but diesel prices have risen well above $2, with tipper owner-drivers expected to absorb the cost.
McCrone says he’s also hopeful all the major plant hires will follow suit and add on the increase to jobs in the private sector.
“If it’s not introduced by next week, we are taking all the trucks to the Parliament House next Monday,” said McCrone.
Once fuel, maintenance and repayments are factored in, owner-drivers are left with as little as $100 per day, said McCrone.
“It is difficult to understand how a Labor government could condemn workers to building government infrastructure with poverty wages.”
In a Facebook update to members today, McCrone said he had a meeting at the Premier’s office today at 3pm to try and resolve the issue.
McCrone said he’ll be proposing the government brings the rate of $1.40 per litre up to the current bowser price.
Using the same formulas as before, he then wants to see a new hourly figure published separately and mandated on all government work.
McCrone is also hopeful that rate would become the new industry standard right across the board after all the major plant hires told him that if the government publishes a new fuel levy for tip trucks they will pay it on all jobs.
“Let’s see if they do, but that’s the plan of attack. Those are the commitments that have been made to me by all the major plant hires.”