TWU wins ACCC green light on Hanson talks

Union's Queensland branch scores conditional interim authorisation for negotiations over new agreement on cartage rates and waiting times

September 13, 2012

The Transport Workers Union
has gained conditional interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to start collective bargaining negotiations for owner-drivers contracted with Hanson Construction Materials in the state.

Hanson had sought to lock in changes to cartage rates and waiting times for owner-drivers through a new agreement.

Not all the concrete-truck drivers agreed to sign it
and the TWU's Queensland
sought the authorisation on August 22.

The TWU also sought interim authorisation to start negotiations only, stating it did not propose to finalise any agreement until the ACCC has made a final determination, the ACCC says.

"The interim authorisation the ACCC has granted will enable negotiations to commence but is conditional on the group not entering into any contracts, arrangements or understandings until the ACCC makes a final determination," it adds.

"The Competition and Consumer Act allows the ACCC to grant interim authorisation before it has made a decision on the merits of an overall application.

"The ACCC will not usually grant interim authorisation where the market would not be able to return to its previous state if the ACCC ultimately denied overall authorisation.

"Granting interim authorisation does not bind the ACCC in its consideration of the overall application."

The ACCC has invited submissions on the overall application, due by September 24.

It will then prepare its draft determination.

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