AWUNZ through the amalgamation of the drivers unions in the South Island have maintained Transport Drivers Collective Agreements in specialised areas including milk, petroleum, gas, bitumen, and stock, refrigerated, mining, concrete, specialised and general cartage. Wheels and tracks, contracting machinery including grader drivers, etc, usually fall within the Infrastructure sector.

Transport had for years suffered due to the abolition of the old award system and de-licensing, and a number of General Transport Companies going into receivership.

In more recent times Transport Companies specialising in products have benefited from the “contracting model” within respective industries. The most noticeable being non Fonterra, milk Companies that contracted out cartage, other examples include the contracting out of petroleum deliveries and gas. These sectors have seen wage rates increase on the back of tanker driver demand initially dream by the Fonterra/Driving workers union model. Other sectors such as petroleum and gas have had to complete in that market. This sector has helped other drivers increase wages within the industry but not to the same extent.

Shift work and compliance are issues that consume the industry, but there has been a levelling off of job jumping as rates within the industry stabilise. We are seeking a degree of stability as companies come to terms with wage increases.

To a large extent, gone are the days when if a driver wanted more money he had to drive longer hours. Still old habits die hard.