Up to 200 drivers in the construction industry have gone on strike in Melbourne as a dispute over pay and conditions intensifies.
According to a report on Australian Associated Press drivers, at 15 depots, Hanson Construction Materials who deliver materials including sand and cement, are locked in a dispute with the company over a new wages agreement and have started a 24 hour strike which could have a roll-on effect at building sites across the city.
Transport Workers Union state secretary Wayne Mader said the main sticking point was over overtime and penalty rates.
Mader says that a deal proposed by the company would cut overtime for early morning starts, with workers called in to start before their rostered shift instead finishing early and forfeiting penalty payments.
Mader says some progress was made in meetings over the weekend regarding Hansen’s threat to lock out workers from Tuesday, with the parties agreeing to a 14 day moratorium on further industrial activity and to seek an urgent hearing in Fair Work Australia.
The company, which encouraged drivers to reconsider the strike, says it has made a fair and reasonable offer which was above the award rate.
“We thank our customers for their understanding and apologise for any inconvenience caused”.