Australia : NatRoad blames ‘coordinated club' for GCCD exemption opposition
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Clark blames opponents for bullyboy tactics that can potentially change how the industry operates
Warren Clark says, "NatRoad will tackle these industrial changes head on and for as long as it takes".
NatRoad has hit out at the "coordinated club" for unanimously opposing its application seeking exemption for its members from the NSW General Carriers Contract Determination (GCCD) during a directions hearing at the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) last Friday.
"It was clear the NatRoad exemption application was an irritant to the forces behind the changes, who say they want consultation but who really want to hide behind complex industrial changes and bullyboy tactics that can change the industry overnight," NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says.
"The behaviour of the opposing forces was anything but consultative, as they entered the court room en masse, despite being separate organisations representing distinct employer and union interests.
"Those opposing the exemption application even challenged whether NatRoad, an association representing both contract carrier owner drivers and principal contractor employers of truck drivers, had the right to make the application.
The IRC has asked all parties opposing NatRoad’s exemption application to file and serve a motion and return to the Commission on August 12.
A case has been filed under NatRoad v Transport Workers Union New South Wales at the IRC, Sydney.
The ARTIO NSW had earlier opposed NatRoad’s exemption application, calling it a "misguided and flawed" approach.
"NatRoad met face to face with the forces behind the unfair industrial changes to hear their verbal opposition to our call for an exemption," Clark says.
"Today was the first step in what could be a long path to better understand the implications of these NSW industrial changes on the transport sector and NatRoad will continue to seek a seat at the table and raise our voice.
"These industrial changes are a public interest issue that can impact the economic viability of thousands of operators and the productivity of Australia, given that NSW is the major freight corridor in Australia.
"Australians can’t move and sell their goods with only large trucking companies; we need a mix of specialists and smaller trucking businesses that have the flexibility to fill the gaps and take on a range of jobs."
NatRoad says the interim determination, which relates to the scope and application of GCCD, will increase red tape and confusion within the industry that already has certain protections for smaller operators and contract carriers under the Fair Work Act 2009 and the Independent Contractors Act 2006.
The Commission is due to make its decision regarding rate-related suggestions proposed by the union later this year.
NatRoad says the proposed changes such as fixed hourly and kilometre rates will threaten the viability of owner drivers and small trucking businesses by prohibiting them from negotiating their arrangements.