Union submits pricing plan for higher road transport charges

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 July, 2008, 12:00am

A drivers' union has submitted a pricing proposal to the government to calculate transport charges amid high fuel prices.

The Dumper Truck Drivers Association said it sent a proposal to the Development Bureau last Thursday and was waiting for a reply.

The union proposes that HK$170 be charged for the first 5km and HK$85 for every 5km afterwards. Under the proposal, diesel costs account for 47 per cent of the charge and 18 per cent is for a driver's salary, with the fuel price set at HK$12.14 per litre. Maintenance costs account for 23 per cent and the rest is for insurance and licence fees.

'So many workers' unions are taking action to fight for their rights, as they have been hit hard by inflation,' association secretary Chan Sam-choi said. 'Drivers suffer most from rising oil prices. We are taking the opportunity to submit the proposal and start a discussion on setting up a mechanism.'

Watsons Water workers won their fight for a pay rise after a two-day strike. Nestle workers have also demanded a salary increase and are waiting for a reply.

'We might plan another strike if the government and the Hong Kong Construction Association do not consider our proposal seriously,' Mr Chan said.

The union held a strike in May demanding a fuel surcharge from contractors, as dump truck drivers had been hit hard by rising oil prices.

'We did a survey in June, interviewing about 1,000 drivers, and found over 97 per cent received HK$20 to HK$60 from contractors to cover the extra costs from fuel prices. Unity and workers' power do work,' he said. 'We hope a mechanism can be set up so that pay disputes will not happen too often. Workers and employers, or contractors in our case, can solve differences over negotiation by calculation.'

The construction association said it would study the plan.

The Development Bureau said lat night: 'We receieved views from truck drivers' association on the transport charges. We are referring them to the Construction Association for reference and follow up.'

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung yesterday dismissed fears of more labour disputes over wages.

How it works

Under the proposal, HK$170 will be charged for the first 5km and for every 5km thereafter the charge, in Hong Kong dollars, will be $85