Strike off for 180 Fuel Tanker Truck Drivers: Deal reached
180 fuel tanker drivers at Pacific Fuel Haul who had voted to walk off the job from December 16 for five days will no longer be doing so as a deal has been reached between workers and the company. The drivers were striking to protect modest 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, the end of the ability for the company 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
“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.”
Mr Abbott says the
increasing strike activity is a result of changes to
employment legislation taking too long.
“These same tanker drivers issued strike notice under the National Government too leading 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 mush less impact on the company and the public.”
says truck drivers are, together with construction workers,
midwives and paramedics, the most overworked workers in the
country (Iles, 2017).
“It’s no surprise that paramedics, midwives and drivers are taking part in strike action at the moment. I think it’s time construction workers started to also take action if they want to keep up.”