Owner-drivers win right to bargain with Hanson

Concrete cartage contractors get final approval to band together to negotiate rates and conditions with Hanson in Queensland

By Brad Gardner | December 7, 2012

Owner-drivers hauling concrete for Hanson in Queensland have been given final approval to join forces and negotiate rates and conditions with the construction materials supplier.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ruling allows the drivers, with the support of the Queensland Transport Workers Union (TWU), to bargain on rates, penalties, a mechanism for rates to increase annually and demurrage payments for five years.

Drivers can also negotiate rates for specialist loads and reimbursement for painting and badging their trucks in Hanson colours.

The TWU previously scored a similar arrangement for owner-drivers working for CEVA Logistics in Queensland.

"The collective bargaining arrangements are likely to result in transaction cost savings and provide the opportunity for increased owner driver input into contracts, due to a single negotiation rather than a series of individual negotiations," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims says.

Queensland TWU Secretary Peter Biagini says the union applied for collective bargaining approval after its members complained Hanson was trying to introduce an unfair contract.

Owner-drivers who wish to collectively bargain will be able to form a bargaining group, with the TWU providing administrative support.

Hanson and owner-drivers will be free to choose if they want to participate in collective bargaining, but employee drivers are excluded.

The ACCC last month issued a draft determination supporting the TWU’s bid, saying it was appropriate to authorise collective bargaining for five years.

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