TWU and Toll reach deal to head off industrial action

In-principle agreement guarantees wage and superannuation increases but gives Toll flexibility to pay lower rates when competing for new work

TWU and Toll reach deal to head off industrial action
TWU and Toll reach deal to head off industrial action
By Brad Gardner | September 4, 2013

Toll has struck an in-principle deal with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to try and end protracted enterprise agreement negotiations and prevent its workforce from waging industrial action.

Both parties shook hands on a 15 per cent wage increase for workers over four years and a commitment from Toll to maintain superannuation payments at 3 percent above the statutory rate to a cap of 15 per cent.

The agreement allows Toll to pay lower starting rates to workers when bidding for new jobs. It also gives the transport firm four years of certainty of no industrial action.

"Finally, Toll and the TWU have taken the important step of establishing an internal dispute resolution procedure on a trial basis for three years, which we hope will reduce the incidence of disputes and enable us to deal with them more efficiently when they arise," the company says in a statement.

"We encourage our employees to now accept this four year enterprise agreement. It will allow us to retain the best people in the industry by paying fair increases to wages and super."

The deal will be put to Toll transport workers to vote on. A majority of them in August voted in favour of indefinite work stoppages to reach a deal on a new enterprise agreement.

Under the compromise the TWU and Toll reached yesterday, workers will receive a 4 per cent wage increase this financial year, 3 per cent in 2014-15 and 4 per cent for each of the following financial years.

Superannuation payments will be set at 12.25 percent this financial year – 3 per cent ahead of the current statutory rate.

"Under the agreement, the TWU will work to reduce the gap between what we pay in superannuation compared to what our competitors pay," Toll says.

The agreement caps months of negotiations, which hit a snag when the TWU and Toll could not agree on issues covering job security, wages and superannuation.

The TWU initially wanted a 16 per cent wage increase for the life of the agreement, a rise in superannuation to 15 per cent, site rates across the country and for the agreement to cover all new Toll work.

While it has not got everything it wanted, the union has labelled the deal "a breakthrough".

It says it will be put to the union’s member-led negotiation committee before being distributed to Toll yards across the country in the coming weeks.

TWU Assistant National Secretary Michael Kaine says the deal maintains site rates in New South Wales, while rates in other jurisdictions will increase to the rates in employment awards, plus 10 per cent.

Although the agreement is limited to existing Toll transport workers, Kaine says the TWU will be involved in the process of setting conditions for new work Toll has won.

"Toll workers are very concerned about job security and the creeping expansion of casualisation and outsourcing," Kaine says.

"The protected action ballot sent a clear message to Toll that our members were serious about getting a fair deal."

The looming Federal Court action involving the TWU and Toll still lingers, however.

The TWU launched legal action late last month after accusing Toll of preventing more than 170 workers from voting on whether to take industrial action.

It claims the company failed to supply an accurate, up-to-date and complete list of employees to the Australian Electoral Commission prior to the ballot.

Toll has denied the charge of deliberately trying to deny its workers a vote and expressed disappointment at being accused of doing so.

The TWU wants the Federal Court to impose a financial penalty.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the Owner Driver e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook


Trucks For Hire | Forklifts For Hire | Cranes For Hire | Generators For Hire | Transportable Buildings For Hire