Truck drivers across Australia to strike at midnight causing major disruption for food, fuel, and package deliveries
- Thousands of Toll truck drivers will strike for 24 hours from midnight
- Food, fuel and the delivery of packages may potentially be disrupted
- Deliveries of vaccines and essential medical supplies would not be disrupted
- Workers are protesting the casualisation of the transport industry
Deliveries of food, fuel and packages will potentially be disrupted after truck drivers across Australia agreed to a strike from midnight.
The 24-hour strike by 7,000 Toll drivers is over a proposal by the employer to open up work to labour hire casuals and contractors.
The Transport Workers’ Union said delivery of vaccines and essential medical supplies will not be disrupted by the strike.
Negotiations between the drivers and Toll over a new enterprise bargaining agreement broke down, with the union claiming the company wants to cut overtime paid to permanent employees and bring in casuals and contractors on lower wages.
The 24-hour strike by 7,000 Toll drivers is over a proposal by the employer to open up work to labour hire casuals and contractors
Transport Workers Union rep Ian Buckingham speaks to striking truckies in Brisbane, Queensland
The Transport Workers’ Union said delivery of vaccines and essential medical supplies would not be disrupted by the strike.
Allan Beacham, president of Toll Global Express, told ABC News that the company was prepared to manage the disruption caused by the strike.
‘We have been planning for this event, we didn’t want it to happen and we will leave no stone unturned today to actually ensure that we put parcels on the doorsteps and groceries on the shelves,’ he said.
Mr Beacham said Toll would ‘draft in’ casual and subcontractors to meet its delivery commitments around the country, perhaps confirming the union’s fears.
Toll is one of Australia’s largest transport companies, with Coles, Woolworths and McDonalds as customers. It also supplies many retailers, hospitals and other industries.
It’s expected deliveries of certain products could be affected during the strike action due to fewer drivers.
Up to 15,000 other drivers may also go on strike as a result of the enterprise bargaining process currently underway with the major transport companies
Up to 15,000 other drivers may also go on strike as a result of the enterprise bargaining process currently underway with the major transport companies.
The TWU said the transport companies are attempting to casualise the workforce and push wages down.
‘Drivers know all too well what happens when conditions and pay are dragged down in transport: stressed, chronically fatigued drivers are forced to work long hours, speed and skip rest breaks resulting in deaths and injuries on our roads,’ TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said.
Mr Beacham disagreed that workers would be worse off as a result of the current negotiations.
‘Over the past three years we have reduced our casuals and outside hires by over 30 percent,’ he claimed.
‘We are not planning to erode any overtime or conditions, nor are we planning to erode job security conditions.’
Truck drivers across Australia to strike at midnight causing major disruption