Support From Aussie Truckies Helps US Toll Group Drivers Win Landmark Deal

Release date: 10/01/2013

After years of campaigning Toll Group truck drivers in the United States have won a landmark agreement that is a testament to their dedication and which highlights how support from TWU members here in Australia made a crucial difference in securing a better deal. That's according to Michael Kaine, Acting National Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU).

Michael was speaking after Toll Group truck drivers at the Los Angeles, California port facility voted to endorse a new agreement brokered by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Toll Group management, which sees major wage increases and better conditions.

“This is a great victory for truckers who have been fighting for living wages and decent conditions at Toll for several years now. The new agreement has seen wages rise by almost 50% overnight, together with substantial improvements in other benefits and conditions. This agreement, the first for port truckers in the US for almost 30 years, will act as springboard for organising the entire port trucking industry over the coming years.”

“During the campaign, TWU members right across Australia stood up and demanded Toll management make their own policy of ‘One Toll’ - where workers across the world experience the same standards, practices and workplace values - more than just words. It is clear that the support from the thousands of TWU members at Toll, from yards right across the country to the Toll Group AGM in Melbourne made a crucial difference.”

Sydney-based Toll Group truckie Steve Newton commented, “All Toll workers, no matter where they are in the world or what their accent is, should have the same workplace standards and conditions. Management at Toll have committed to a ‘One Toll’ policy and every trucker here in Australia is delighted that our brothers and sisters in Los Angeles will finally have a fair go.”

Michael Kaine continued, “The decision by management to negotiate a fair agreement in L.A. shows that they recognise the benefit of having a loyal, skilled and secure workforce. Credit must go to the company on this. TWU members will shortly be surveyed to find out what they want in a new national agreement at Toll and in the coming months our workplace delegates will begin negotiations with management on a new workplace agreement.”

“This new agreement shows that international solidarity between workers does make a real difference and that when workers stand together they can win real change that will lead to improved standards across the trucking industry”, concluded Michael.

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