Employers should help with petrol price hikes: union
A major union is pushing for new travel allowances to cushion the impact of rising petrol prices on its members.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) says many of its members do not have access to public transport and higher petrol prices are putting them out of pocket.
The CFMEU says the upward movement is forcing some people to pay $50 a week extra to get to work.
CFMEU national secretary John Maitland says workers feel outraged and fully support a campaign for new and increased travel allowances.
"The benefits that we've got from productivity improvements etc that we've delivered to the majority of our industries have just been swallowed up by the fuel price and most of our members pay a lot to travel to work," he said.
"In some cases the employers recognise that but if the Government's not going to do anything about it, then obviously we're not going to sit back and allow the situation to continue.
"Many of our members work in regional and country areas and whilst in the city you might have a bit of fuel discounting every now and then, in the country people are being absolutely cruelled with the price of fuel because they pay the highest price."
Employers First spokesman Gary Brack says the proposal may not be feasible.
"I think the answer is it's one of those issues to negotiate," he said.
"But on the other hand I think you'll find that for a lot of employers, they simply won't have the capacity to pass it on, given that a lot of building contracts are running at profit margins at somewhere around 2 or 3 per cent, which is pretty tight."
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