Tooheys drivers win victory over contracts


SYDNEY — On June 27, 57 owner-drivers who deliver beer for the Tooheys brewery company voted to accept a new contract negotiated by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) with Tooheys and transport company Linfox.

When it was announced that Linfox would take over the delivery contract from rival Toll Holdings as of July 31, the drivers were offered their existing jobs back under far worse conditions, including a 42% pay cut and an extra $50,000 capital outlay each on their trucks.

The drivers' campaign was supported by Unions NSW and members of the Public Sector Association employed at NSW Parliament House, who voted to stop serving Tooheys beer to MPs.

After months of campaign action, which included blockades of the Tooheys Lidcombe brewery and protest action at the Sydney office of Tooheys CEO Rob Murray, the TWU negotiated an outcome for what Wayne Forno, the union's assistant secretary, described as a "workable pay rate".

"Today proves when working people stick together and fight, justice can prevail", veteran Tooheys driver Bob Hayden said after the vote on the new contract.

Susan Price

From Green Left Weekly, July 5, 2006.

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