The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has granted conditional interim authorisation to allow the Transport Workers Union (Queensland Branch) to commence collective bargaining negotiations on behalf of concrete-truck owner-drivers contracted with Hanson in Queensland.
The TWU sought authorisation on 22 August, on behalf of existing and future owner-drivers working for Hanson Construction Materials, to allow the drivers to engage in voluntary collective bargaining with Hanson regarding the arrangements for the cartage of concrete.
The TWU also sought interim authorisation to start negotiations only, stating it did not propose to finalise any agreement until the ACCC has made a final determination. The interim authorisation the ACCC has granted will enable negotiations to commence but is conditional on the group not entering into any contracts, arrangements or understandings until the ACCC makes a final determination.
The Competition and Consumer Act allows the ACCC to grant interim authorisation before it has made a decision on the merits of an overall application. The ACCC will not usually grant interim authorisation where the market would not be able to return to its previous state if the ACCC ultimately denied overall authorisation. Granting interim authorisation does not bind the ACCC in its consideration of the overall application.
The ACCC has invited submissions on the overall application, due by 24 September 2012. The ACCC will then proceed to prepare its draft determination.
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