More than 8000 workers from Australia’s largest logistics company Toll Group could go on strike for 72 hours after voting in favour of protected industrial action.
Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) national secretary Tony Sheldon said that 85% of the votes cast supported taking protected action.
The TWU first filed documents with the Fair Work Commission in July, asking them to approve a ballot on all forms of industrial action.
Workers at over 400 yards were balloted by the Australian Electoral Commission on the type of action they wished to take, including a strike of up to 72 hours.
The TWU wants confirmation that employees of companies contracted by Toll are paid fair wages.
It is also asking Toll to guarantee it won't create separate businesses with lower pay rates and differing safety standards.
Sheldon claims the company has not been open in its negotiations.
“It’s always been our intention to reach an agreement with the company that our members can vote on, but after more than 100 hours of negotiations we still remain some distance apart,” Sheldon said.
“TWU members are seeking a fair agreement that recognises their role in the continued success of Toll and ensures that their job security, conditions and safety standards won’t be undermined.”
Sheldon said the union members would now meet to decide the size of any action taken.
“Following on from this decision, our member led-negotiation team will now meet to decide on the appropriate scope and size of industrial action in the event that the deadlock is not broken.
A spokesman for Toll has previously said the company was "extremely disappointed" the union had taken the action.
"We are extremely disappointed the union has taken this action, especially considering negotiations between Toll and the union are continuing,” he said.
"Implementing union-imposed conditions that make Toll uncompetitive in the current economic environment would be the biggest threat to job security.”
A Toll employee told LMH today that " the majority of Toll’s employees believe the current offer Toll has on the table is fair and reasonable, and want a sensible agreement finalised as soon as possible."