BY IAN CROUCH
Workers employed by transport and logistics giant, Toll Group have voted to take industrial action, with a national 24 hour strike planned for Friday 27 August.
The strike has the potential to disrupt deliveries of parcels, groceries and petrol.
It comes after crisis talks on Monday with the Transport Workers Union broke down despite the company agreeing to up its pay offer and ditch plans to cut overtime.
TWU National Secretary, Michael Kaine said the talks failed to address job security concerns over the employment of workers on rolling short-term contracts and the use of labour-hire workers ahead of staff directly employed by the company.
“Toll workers have been forced to take this last resort option to go on strike this week because their jobs are being smashed,” he said
“To do nothing would be to wait like sitting ducks for the jobs they’ve skillfully done for decades to be given away to the lowest common denominator, If workers had accepted this today, their jobs could have been contracted out moments after signing on the dotted line.”
The union has been seeking a 3 per cent pay rise – the company offered a one-payment of $750 to cover for last when enterprise bargaining negotiations were delayed. It’s now increased the offer to 2 per cent per year for the next two years.
President of Toll’s Global Express division, Alan Beacham said the company had the best enterprise agreement in the road transport industry and urged the union to return to the negotiating table.
Toll also claims the strike “risks disrupting” the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout, but the union has refuted the assertion, saying the medical supplies are excluded from the industrial action.
Toll management said the company would be able to manage any disruption caused by the strike, assuring customers their goods would be transported during the industrial action.