Tip Top, exposed by ABC last year after families spoke out about NSW drivers impoverished and safety compromised, is now demanding that employees in Western Australia accept changing to a seven-day roster. The objective of this is to reduce the take-home pay of staff by removing over-time or extra pay for weekend work.
“Tip Top is yet again gaming the system, trying to force its staff to accept a dodgy enterprise agreement which will leave employees struggling to support their families. The fact that employers can do this as part of the so-called bargaining process shows how the system is broken and the rules need to change,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
On Thursday, Tip Top will put the agreement before workers in a vote. The TWU is urging a No vote and today lodged a protected action ballot which will allow staff to take industrial action.
“This dodgy agreement will force drivers, loaders and other distribution staff to work longer hours over more days for less pay. It will ensure workers have no control over the days or hours they work. Tip Top are trying to exploit their workers in WA just as they have exploited their drivers in NSW,” said TWU WA Branch State Secretary Tim Dawson.
Tip Top has recently won new contracts in Western Australia, now producing popular brands such as Wonder White, Mighty Soft and Helga’s loafs. Tip Top is owned by Associated British Foods, which in November announced profits of $2.4 billion.
ABC 7.30 detailed how the stress of the job resulted in the death of one driver in NSW while another driver dying of cancer was hounded by Tip Top to sign a contract which would reduce his rates. A raid by the RMS on a western Sydney Tip Top depot showed maintenance on trucks is also not being carried out, with 25 defect notices issued out of 46 trucks inspected.
Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks have increased by 9.4% this year, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Safe Work Australia data shows that almost 40% of all workplace deaths involved transport workers this year. This is up from one in four in 2015.