Fuel delivery company refuses to agree to standard industry allowances and takes latest offer off the table – meanwhile partial strike continues
Following a five day strike in December, drivers at SouthFuels (also trading as Northfuels) are taking further partial strike action after failed negotiations.
The employment contract dispute:
The company refuses to agree to what are standard allowances for fuel truck drivers of time and a quarter after a 40 hour work week. The company requested members work 50 hours a week. Members agreed to this with a compromise that the company pay overtime after 50 hours at $5 dollars more an hour (instead of time and a quarter which would be approximately $7.50). This has also been refused. The fuel truck drivers would like more control over the hours they work to keep a healthy work/life balance, or at least be properly compensated for working over 50 hours a week. The Union agrees with the drivers’ claims and is attempting to continue negotiations however the company has removed all offers from the table.
The current partial strike action:
Union members will not work over a 40 hour work week in protest of the company’s demand to have them be available for work seven days a week, without compensation.
Justin Wallace, spokesperson for the drivers, says the employees simply want more control over their own working lives to stay happy and healthy.
“It’s a work-life balance right? People need to know when they are going to be at work and when they aren’t so they can plan family and recreation time. Hours outside of work help keep us physically and mentally happy so this is really important.”
Mr Wallace says the company wants to take away the choice of weekend work from drivers.
“Drivers have been working Monday to Friday with weekend work been seen as extra if its required. That weekend work has been mutually agreed between the company and the drivers and this has worked well for both parties. The company wants to change the agreement so drivers will potentially work more weekends. Drivers simply want what are standard for overtime allowances.”
He says the drivers have tried to be lenient with the employer to reach a compromise.
“Through this whole process members have tried to reach a compromise with the company; when they asked for what are standard industry overtime allowances the company informed them that it had withdrawn the offer. This is very disappointing but this will not stop the Union and its members trying to reach a settlement with the company. The partial strike will continue until a fair settlement is reached.”
Companies working within construction sites, earth moving businesses, golf clubs, bus companies, haulage and agriculture, horticulture, waste management services, manufacturing and truck and car hire may be affected by the partial strike.