Appalling Treatment of Toll Intermodal Subbies

Release date: 15/11/2016

The Wheel (Spring 2016 Issue), TWU WA Branch Lead Organiser Mick Knowles reports
Toll Intermodal’s treatment of sub- contractors working out of its Kewdale and Fremantle depots is a complete and utter disgrace.

For more than a year we have been attempting to negotiate a rate increase for the Kewdale operators to keep their businesses viable.
But instead of lifting their rates Toll gave the owner drivers a brutal ultimatum – take a 29% cut to their hourly rate or be sacked.
They were given until July 29 to sign up to the rotten deal or hand in their chips.
When 10 of them refused to sign on the dotted line they were issued termination of contract notices on September 11.
Most of the owner drivers are long-term loyal people with extensive experience in the industry.
It’s been four long years since they’ve have had any increase in their rates.

The rate calculations we had tabled at negotiations with Toll management were not over the top and well and truly justified.
Toll Intermodal subbies are grossly underpaid given the money they need to churn into their own businesses just to break even. And that goes without mentioning the income they require to provide for their families, pay mortgages and keep up with the cost of living in this state.
They are required by Toll to provide $10 million in public liability insurance for starters.
Then there are fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, truck payments, vehicle registration expenses, accountancy fees and a myriad of other costs.
The rates Toll want them to operate on are absolutely unsustainable.
We took their case to the WA Owner Drivers Tribunal where the Commissioner brokered a less drastic cut – but it was still far from acceptable to the owner drivers.
And things aren’t much better at Toll Intermodal’s Rous Head operation where manager Richard Walton has bought in subbies on box rates.
The rates are so low that several of the owner drivers have already gone broke and those who remain are struggling to eke out a living.
It is a shameful situation and even more so given that Toll is the largest transport company in Australia.
With them leading the race to the bottom, imagine how low their grubby competitors will go?
We are fighting on for our Toll Intermodal members for sustainable rates and our grounds are strong.

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