Hymix drivers stand down, locked out

By: Paul Howell


Union says concrete maker is offering a "substandard" enterprise agreement for its specialist drivers

Hymix drivers stand down, locked out
On strike: The Transport Workers Union has secured the right to take industrial action against Hymix for up to 30 days.

 

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has taken protected industrial action against concrete manufacturer Hymix in Queensland today.

Thirty-seven specialist concrete mixer drivers did not report for duty in any of eight locations around the southeast of the state, and have vowed to stay off the job for 24 hours.

In response, the company plans to lock striking workers out on Saturday.

Hymix says the strike action has occurred after six months of negotiations for an enterprise agreement to replace the present deal that nominally expired last year.

The new deal, including pay rises of 3 per cent per annum for each of the next three years, has been put to the 69-strong workforce twice and remains unsupported by a majority.

"With state consumer price inflation at 2 per cent, the offer of a guaranteed 3 per cent increase every year over the next three years is more than fair and reasonable," a company spokesman says.

TWU Queensland secretary Peter Biagini laughs off suggestions the Hymix drivers are "among the highest paid in the industry," and instead says the union position of 3.5 per cent pay rises is a minimum benchmark.

He also accuses Hymix of bullying staff over a number of non-financial elements in the new deal.

"Our members are also fighting for decent working conditions in their agreement including clauses which protect their job security and their right to a dignified retirement (through superannuation)," he says.

More strikes are on the cards if the company does not soften its stance on these key issues, with the union having secured the right to take protected action for up to 30 days.

"If the company does not come back to the table to negotiate a better deal for our members and their families, protected action will continue," Biagini says.

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