Symes Transport accused of $250,000 driver rip-off

Family-owned trucking company is being hauled to court accused of underpaying 44 employees more than $250,000 over four years

Symes Transport accused of $250,000 driver rip-off
Symes Transport accused of $250,000 driver rip-off
August 29, 2012

Family-owned trucking business Symes Transport is being hauled to court accused of ripping off its truck drivers to the tune of more than $250,000 over a four-year period.

The husband and wife team of Michael Gregory Symes and Janice Mary Symes will appear in the Federal Magistrates Court on September 24 to answer accusations they did not pay 44 drivers correct hourly rates, overtime rates, shift and meal allowances and annual leave loading entitlements.

A complaint from a single driver in 2009 to the Fair Work Ombudsman about alleged underpayments sparked an investigation into the running of the Victorian-based business that uncovered alleged underpayments of $251,942 between November 2005 and December 2009.

The Ombudsman, which is prosecuting Symes Transport, alleges a combination of full-time, part-time and casual drivers were underpaid by more than $10 an hour for some overtime work, with the largest underpayment of a driver peaking at $29,914.

The Ombudsman wants a court order requiring Symes Transport to rectify the underpayments. The owners are accused of committing several breaches of workplace laws, with each offence attracting a maximum fine of $6,600.

A well-known express freight and courier service housed in Bendigo, Symes Transport began in 1984 and has depots in Bendigo and Melbourne.

ATN has made repeated attempts to seek comment from Symes Transport but a company representative is yet to respond.

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