Truck union wins ruling but fight not over
THE union representing many truckies is claiming victory after industry lobby group NatRoad's effort to gain exemption from setting minimum pay rates for owner-drivers was rejected.
The New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission dismissed NatRoad's proposed changes, which the group had claimed were necessary for freight businesses to remain viable.
NatRoad, the National Road Transport Association, represents some owner-drivers and some large trucking firms.
Transport Workers Union NSW branch secretary Richard Olsen said NatRoad was trying to reduce pay rates and allowances for drivers who did not own their trucks through a review of the transport awards.
"This is an important win for owner drivers in NSW. NatRoad does not represent owner-drivers, they represent companies which want to rip them off,” Mr Olsen said.
NatRoad said it intended to fight the decision.
It said the NSW Industrial Relations Commission was still considering NatRoad's application to once again become a registered industrial organisation representing road transport business operators.
If successful, it would empower the group to further challenge the TWU's industrial changes.
NatRoad CEO Warren Clarke accused the unions of using misinformation in an effort to remain relevant.
"The players behind this latest round of industrial changes threatening the road transport industry have made it very clear they don't want scrutiny from NatRoad or the voice of legitimate small trucking businesses present at industrial hearings,” he said.
"These players are spreading around wild rumours about NatRoad and spinning minor decisions from the NSW Industrial (Relations) Commission into trumped-up victories while not revealing their own self-interest that is driving the introduction of complicated and confusing industrial changes.
"Make no mistake, these union-backed industrial changes are about removing small independent mum and dad trucking businesses from the market.