Thousands of Toll transport workers striking today have renewed their appeal for Toll to drop its threat to job security through a proposed enterprise agreement which would see 40-50% of work outsourced to the lowest common denominator.
The TWU negotiating committee, made up of rank and file members from across the country, met with Toll management yesterday in a last-ditch attempt to secure job security provisions which would have prevented today’s strikes, but the company failed to provide any concrete proposal to address workers’ concerns.
TWU NSW/QLD Secretary and chief Toll negotiator, Richard Olsen, said workers want to return to the negotiation table but job threats must first be removed from the offering.
“There is no grey area when it comes to job security. Either the jobs are secure Toll jobs, or they aren’t. Toll’s proposal makes clear that if workers signed onto it, good, permanent jobs would become a thing of the past, to be replaced by a second-grade, insecure workforce. After months of negotiations, Toll knows it must provide job security guarantees to reach an agreement with workers. The transport giant must stop playing games with people’s lives,” he said
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said sinking to the levels of AmazonFlex would cost lives and put Toll out of business.
“Transport is in a crisis underpinned by crushing financial pressure on supply chains from wealthy retailers, manufacturers and oil companies at the top. This is the Amazon effect, but there are no winners when companies try to play wealthy behemoths like Amazon and Uber at their own game, there are only deaths, injuries and exploitation. The solution is to lift standards in transport, not compete in a never-ending race to the bottom which puts companies out of business and kills hundreds more people in truck crashes.
“The transport industry must unite and demand the Federal Government establishes an independent body to set universal, binding standards for transport supply chains as recommended in a Senate report this week,” he said.
Cost-cutting in transport supply chains is hammering the entire industry. Over 15,000 transport workers across the main transport operators are pushing for strikes to stave off attacks on their jobs. ASIC data shows around a dozen transport companies become insolvent every month, with 156 insolvencies in the last year.
In 2016, the LNP Government abolished a Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which was tasked with addressing the squeeze on supply chains. Since then, over 200 truck drivers and almost 1000 people have been killed in truck crashes.