Strike off for 180 fuel tanker truck drivers as deal reached

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 13, 2018

A strike involving 180 fuel tanker drivers at Pacific Fuel Haul who had voted to walk off the job from December 16 for five days has been averted after a deal was reached between workers and the company. The drivers were striking to protect redundancy provisions and for a fair and reasonable wage increase.
The offer will see all members‘ wages increase by a minimum of 6% over a 24-month period including a minimum back-payment to August of 3%. It also includes increased sick leave provisions, increased bereavement leave, and the end of the company being able to provide preferential terms to non-union members. The removal of availability, rates to be achieved off industry experience rather than service to the company, the introduction of a cover-driver rate at $35 per hour, the establishment of a drivers/union/management forum to be held annually, the introduction of long service leave, and a further increase for LPG drivers were also included in the new collective contract.
FIRST Union Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing secretary Jared Abbott says the deal shows workers are finally been given a fairer share of capital.
“For far too long people have been underpaid in New Zealand, it‘s time to lift our embarrassing low wages and wins like this are returning power to workers so they can have more control over their working and personal lives. With these particular workers, their skill and the risks they take have been more or less recognised.”
Abbott says the increasing strike activity is a result of changes to employment legislation taking too long. The same drivers had issued strike notice under National too in the lead up to Christmas.
“In fact, under National a settlement wasn‘t reached until the last minute.  I think confidence that things are going to improve has helped us reach a deal in a time that causes much less impact on the company and the public.”