Anyone who’s ever had commercial dealings with Ron Finemore knows he is no pushover. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
Likewise, the Transport Workers’ Union has a history which more than once has shown a propensity for feisty obstinacy in negotiations with private enterprise.
So, put the two together at the bargaining table and it’d be fair to suppose that something resembling two bulls banging heads over control of the herd would be the likely order of events.
Fortunately, however, on the issues of safety and fair rates of pay for regional truck drivers, the two entities have come together in a spirit of understanding and shared priorities which have delivered a beneficial outcome for all parties.
In a press statement, the TWU said it ‘…welcomed the enterprise agreement signed with Ron Finemore Transport as a safer and fairer deal for regional truck drivers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said the.agreement is a powerful indication that drivers are committed to working together with their employers to build a safer road transport industry.
“Ron Finemore Transport has given long-standing support for a safer road transport industry and the Safety Rating Scheme for operators,” he said.
“Together we are helping to save lives on our roads with initiatives like the Safety Rating Scheme, so transport clients, drivers and the community can know the operators who put safety first.
“With 330 people killed every year in truck related crashes on Australian roads, I encourage all operators and the Federal Government to get on board and lift standards in the industry, instead of engaging in a race to the bottom.”
For his part, Ron Finemore said he was pleased to reach an agreement with the TWU and the company’s drivers.
“This agreement shows you can run a successful trucking operation in regional Australia, play fair by your workers and maintain first class safety standards,” Finemore said.
“Our philosophy is to look after our people and they in turn will look after us.”
The agreement covers more than 500 drivers, with key features including wage increases of 3.5 percent each year for four years and superannuation to ultimately reach 13 percent.
Hopefully, it’s an agreement that will catch on.