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Drivers win after month-long dispute

26 Jun 2014
Petrol tanker drivers in New Zealand celebrated last week, as a month-long dispute ended in a worker victory.

Negotiations for better conditions for drivers at Toll, a trucking subsidiary of Australia’s Toll Holdings working in the north of New Zealand, broke down at the beginning of May. According to ITF affiliate FIRST union, Toll drivers earned less than two-thirds of the national average salary for petrol drivers.

Toll is a contractor for petrol giant BP, and FIRST members across New Zealand showed solidarity with the striking drivers by organising pickets outside BP fuel stations. The ITF-affiliated Australia Transport Workers Union also put pressure on the Australian firm Toll to enter negotiations with its New Zealand workforce.

This escalation, alongside support from global union federations IndustriALL and the ITF, forced Toll to return to negotiations with workers. The final agreement, achieved on 27 May, defends union rights at Toll, and makes provision for better working conditions.

FIRST union organiser Jared Abbott thanked the local and international community for their support, and said: “In the end the workers were happy to achieve a new collective agreement that included a decent wage increase.”


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