Toll and Linfox: We back TWU on minimum rates

By: Brad Gardner


The TWU's proposed variation to minimum rates has secured the support of two big-name players.

 

Linfox and Toll have lined up behind a Transport Workers Union (TWU) proposal to vary the impending minimum rates scheme for owner-drivers.

Both companies have penned a joint submission to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) in support the union’s call for the rates scheme to be enforced from October 1 instead of April 4 and for the new rates structure to be phased in over one year.

The union proposal also calls for more consultation to address concerns about backloading and split loads under minimum rates, 30-day payment terms for the industry and new contract transparency requirements for supply chain parties.   

The RSRT is due to decide soon whether to delay the minimum rates scheme it announced in December last year.

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is part of the Toll and Linfox submission and has supported aspects of the TWU’s plan.

It supports the October 1 start date and a transition to the new rates, but it wants further discussions on payment terms and the proposals relating to greater accountability measures for businesses in the transport supply chain.

In the submission, Toll and Linfox claim the union’s proposal – titled ‘Exhibit TWU1’ by the RSRT – will promote fairness by ensuring the industry has enough time to understand minimum rates and make necessary changes to comply.

"The variation would promote business viability in the road transport industry through providing more time for businesses to understand and implement the new requirements, and through phasing-in the new minimum rates," the submission states.

"The variation would reduce complexity and facilitate simplicity and understanding through allowing more time for education materials to be developed by the Fair Work Ombudsman and industry organisations, and for education programs to be conducted."

The Ai Group’s support for parts of the TWU’s plan marks a departure from its original proposal for minimum rates. The Ai Group recently called for the scheme to be delayed until January 1 next year and for rates to gradually take effect over a three-year period.  

Toll and Linfox have also used the submission to criticise those who do not support the TWU’s plan.

The union asked NatRoad, the Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation (ARTIO) and Australian Business Industrial (ABI) to back its proposal, but all three groups refused to.

The submission claims opponents have not put forward evidence to support their position or have instead sought to challenge the rates the RSRT has set down in the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order (RSRO).

"Their opposition to Exhibit TWU1 should be viewed in light of the fact that those opponents still wish to agitate for an abolition of the rates prescribed in the RSRO, as opposed to taking a considered and evidence based position as to the commencement of the RSRO and the phasing-in of its rates," the submission says.

The RSRT is expected to make a decision this week on whether to move ahead with the current start date of April 4 for minimum rates or delay the scheme.  

 

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