ACCC supports collective bargaining for owner-drivers

Owner-drivers in Queensland will be free to collectively bargain if an ACCC proposal is accepted

By Brad Gardner | January 25, 2011

A group of Queensland owner-drivers will be permitted to collectively bargain under a proposal from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC wants to grant seven owner drivers the power to bargain with concrete supplier Q-Crete after the Transport Workers Union applied to the regulator for permission.

The union will be able to bargain on behalf of the owner-drivers for five years and has also applied for the decision to extend to others who wish to join the bargaining group.

"The ACCC considers that the collective bargaining arrangements are likely to result in public benefits through transaction cost savings and providing the opportunity for increased owner driver input into contracts," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel says.

In its application to the ACCC last year, the TWU claimed the owner-drivers had complained to the union they were unable to negotiate suitable terms with Q-Crete.

While it will wait for more submissions from interested parties before making a final decision, the ACCC says collective bargaining is unlikely to restrict competition because of the small number of parties involved.

Collective bargaining will also be voluntary for Q-crete and the owner drivers.

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