Fonterra Milk Tanker Drivers Impose Bans
Release date: 21/06/2013
The union representing truck drivers for dairy giant Fonterra has slapped bans on early deliveries until it can get guarantees from the company that it won’t outsource for cheaper labour.
THE STANDARD, By Sean McComish
From today the Transport Workers Union (TWU) will start action banning delivery work before 8.30am.
The industrial action has come about after a stand-off between the company and the union over one clause in a new EBA that would guarantee Fonterra won’t seek to offload any driving to an outside company.
Union assistant secretary John Berger told The Standard around 50 members were taking part in the action because of fears for their job security.
“It’s a limited action and it’s been done with consideration to the farmers,” Mr Berger said.
“The company has been refraining from putting in the clause, even though they have signed it with other unions.”
However, a spokeswoman for Fonterra denied it had reached any such agreements.
Mr Berger said competitors such as Murray Goulburn had signed off on similar assurances, but added they did use contractors during high peak seasons.
The union is suspicious the New Zealand multi-national could outsource drivers in order to pay as little as $18.29 an hour.
Mr Berger said members currently earned more than $30 an hour.
Fonterra managing director Judith Swales said she was “disappointed with TWU’s approach” to the talks.
“We are urging the TWU not to take this action and are still in talks to try and resolve this issue to ensure milk is collected as usual, operations are not disrupted and our customer needs continue to be met,” Ms Swales said.
“We always endeavour to work fairly and collaboratively with our employees, farmers, drivers and all participants in the supply chain.”
“We know farmers are doing it tough right now and this proposed industrial action is not helpful.”
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