Striking fuel tanker drivers win overtime rates

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 11, 2019

Further strike action at fuel distribution company Southfuels has been averted as an agreement has been reached that will see drivers being paid additional rates while working overtime.

Drivers at Southfuels (also trading as Northfuels) have accepted an offer from the company that will see the introduction of overtime rates when working long hours, a wage increase by a minimum of 3%, and a new rate of $35 per hour for cover drivers. The drivers will also have their paid sick leave entitlements doubled.

Around a third of the company‘s drivers and the majority of North Island drivers carried out a partial strike in December last year and were threatening a full withdrawal of labour when the company came back to the table with a better offer.

Justin Wallace, spokesperson for the drivers, says drivers on the collective are pleased to finally be recognised for the long hours they do.

“These drivers will enjoy pay rates aligned with the top of the industry. The increased sick leave will allow drivers on the collective to find a safer work-life balance; something that we all know is very important to our mental wellbeing.”

Wallace says he‘s glad the company finally came to its senses.

“Truck drivers‘ ‘toughen up‘ attitude has been taken advantage of for far too long. We are seeing some serious health issues with workers in this sector; we commend Southfuels for eventually listening to its workers and we look forward to a better relationship with the company in the future.”