Labour Research December 2001


Drivers seek to boost basic rate

The T&G transport union has set its sights on a pay rate of £10 per hour for drivers in the "hire and reward" sector of road haulage by 2003.

The date is when the working time directive is to be extended to the transport industry. The union wants to boost basic rates in anticipation of hours limits in a sector where overtime and long-hours working is common.

The union is pursuing the claim, which covers around 50,000 T&G members, through regional negotiations and bargaining with individual employers.

Ron Webb, T&G national secretary for transport, said: "The working time directive will set hours of work for the transport industry and it is our very clear aim to achieve a minimum rate of £10 to coincide with that." The claim will also deal with subsistence allowances, medical tests, licence fees and pensions, with a call for a 5% employer contribution to stakeholder pensions where no company pension operates.

An agreement in Scotland, which came into effect last March, already includes a commitment to increase the top rate to £7.00 an hour in the event that the directive is implemented earlier than expected.

* The pay formula linking the earnings of qualified firefighters to upper quartile male manual earnings has this year resulted in a 3.9% increase, lifting the annual salary to £21,531 (£412.73 per week) from the beginning of November.