Today, Apr 9th 2020

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News headings from LabourStart


Kleenheat to keep drivers

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KleenheatAfter months of navel gazing by Wesfarmers Kleenheat about who will deliver their bulk Liquid Natural Gas, the company finally bit the bullet and made a
decision. Rather than hand the transport operation to outside contractors they will keep it in-house, and that's good news for our members. The decision affects about 30 multicombination drivers who were happy not be confronted with the prospect of having to re-apply for their jobs with another firm.

We now enter into pay negotiations with Kleenheat management.

While all the deliberation was going on late last year year the company agreed to pay an interim 4.5% rise. This will continue for eight weeks from our first meeting. We will asking for a flat $38 per hour all purpose rate - the drivers are currently on $35.50.

Their job is a specialised part of the industry and drivers cart a very volatile substance which is strictly regulated by Dangerous Goods laws. There's a lot more involved than just steering down the highway. For starters you are sitting on a potential time-bomb that could blow you to Kingdom Come and save your missus the cremation expenses.

But we're in for a tough fight and Kleenheat ain't gunna roll over so we can tickle their tummy.

But the boys are not happy with aspects of their current poxy agreement and they're ready for a stoush. Under the existing agreement their weekly work hours are averaged over the year. One week they might take home 20 hours pay and 60 the next. When negotiations begin we will demand each week stands alone, with a set minimum hours per week like other workers.

Our delegates Allan Cowie and Roy Janssens will be with me at the negotiating table.

We are also in negotiations for the cylinder delivery drivers. These guys are currently on $20.53 per hour for driving eight tonne trucks which is nowhere near enough for what they do. Some of the gas cylinders they cart weigh 90 kilograms. And often they have to contend with savage dogs, lugging the cylinders up over fences, and struggling up and down billy goat hills in the Darling Range areas that have no mains stream gas.

These blokes bust their balls for the company and go out of their way for the customers yet are paid diddly squat in return. We say they should be on the same $28 per hour, all-purpose rate as the drivers who deliver bulk product on rigid trucks. The Kleenheat bosses looked a bit gobsmacked when we hit them with that claim.

It wouldn't have been hard for them to swallow if they'd given the cylinder truck drivers decent pay rises in the past. Our claims for all categories of drivers
will include a demand for an increase in employer superannuation contributions from 9% to 12 %.

Legally protected strike action looms as a distinct possibility as we prepare to fight for the above improvements.

Footnote
Kleenheat will hard-stand their Kwinana yard following complaints from the TWU about clouds of dust being thrown up with the existing blue metal surface. Contractors have been appointed to do the work and are only waiting on approval from the Kwinana Council. Pressure from the union will
also result in six air-conditioning units being installed in the big Tin shed where workers service used cylinder bottles. The workers have had to suffer
the hottest summer in Perth's history, in the Sweat Box that the union has declared a major safety hazard. Disappointingly, the blokes working in the shed still haven't joined the union. They must think the airconditiong units were delivered by Santa Claus.