Ewin Hannan, The Australian
The union has reached agreement with Toll Holdings on an enterprise deal that delivers extra benefits for labour-hire employees as well as wage and superannuation increases.
Under the 30-month in-principle deal, the union has agreed to accept the company's offer of a 4 per cent annual pay rise and a 1 per cent superannuation increase for each year of the agreement.
Employees covered by Toll's labour-hire arm will come fully under the agreement for the first time, while owner-drivers will be paid the site labour rate. Casuals, including labour-hire casuals, will have the right to permanency after six months.
The union's federal secretary, Tony Sheldon, welcomed the agreement, which he compared to a recent deal struck with Linfox.
The Linfox agreement delivers a more generous super commitment, with the company agreeing to lift contributions to 15 per cent over six years.
The Toll deal opens the way for super contributions to rise to 11.5 per cent by January 2013. "This is an agreement that puts in place safer systems of work, safer rates of pay and protects and gives security to working transport and distribution families across the supply chain," Mr Sheldon said.
"This is not the first company that believes a stable workforce is a productivity gain itself, and has taken action to ensure that the people doing the job right for the company and clients will stay with them. We have been fighting for these protections in all agreements to protect the rights of those who are economically powerless.
"This agreement defends the rights of these employees and owner-drivers to have not just secure engagement now, but the opportunity to retire with dignity in the years ahead."
As with the Linfox deal, Mr Sheldon said the agreement with Toll moved towards achieving the union's so-called "safe rates".
"Given Toll currently contracts out around 60 per cent of its workforce, this provides protections to contracting companies, employees and owner-drivers that their pay and conditions are secure," he said.
"But given there are 330 deaths each year across the road transport sector, there is still an urgent need for the federal government to put in place a system of safe rates across the transport industry, where all drivers can get full cost recovery and clients are held accountable."
The deal will be considered by meetings of rank-and-file members over the next two weeks. A Toll spokesman said the company had no comment.
The union has yet to reach an agreement with transport giant TNT. Their dispute has been characterised by strike action.
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