Hanson sub-contractors ask for collective bargaining

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is proposing to grant final authorisation allowing Queensland concrete truck owner-drivers to collectively bargain with Hanson Construction Materials.

In August, the Queensland Branch of the Transport Workers Union sought authorisation on behalf of existing and future owner-drivers working for Hanson for the drivers to engage in voluntary collective bargaining in relation to the terms and conditions for the carting of concrete.

“The collective bargaining arrangements are likely to result in transaction cost savings and provide the opportunity for increased owner-driver input into contracts,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

There are obvious advantages to both parties but the ACCC stressed that owner driver involvement was voluntary and that the negotiations did not affect drivers of Hanson company-owned trucks.

In September the ACCC granted conditional interim authorisation allowing the parties to commence, but not conclude, negotiations until the ACCC makes its final determination.

Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment. It is now seeking submissions on the draft determination.

Hanson Construction Materials is part of the Heidelberg Cement Group which employs more than 57,000 people globally.

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