Unfair Contract Stories

1. Fiona's Story

We are a small country Vic business established by my Dad and Uncle nearly 60 years ago. Around 6 years ago we were approached by a Victorian freight company to perform their deliveries in our local area. It took 12 months from our first conversation until the first truck of freight arrived. By which stage we were desperate for the work as we had to purchase a 12 pallet truck with tailgate in order to gain their work.

So for nearly 5 years we have, in good faith, delivered their goods, with no rate increases, no extra renumeration for dangerous goods, oversize or tailgate deliveries. Their linehaul trucks turned up to our Depot for us to unload anywhere from 11pm to 5am and rarely were two nights the same, and no more than 20 minutes notice. All promises they made regarding better times never lasted.

About 12 months ago, when we said we wanted to update truck, they told us there was someone after our work. We didn't feel secure enough to update truck. For the last 12 months we have felt like we were being hunted. And as it turned out we were.

On the 31st of May, a customer advised us some guy had just delivered there and stated "I've got all ... work, they've been sacked!". We tried to get hold of CEO to confirm and then he phoned to say he would be at our depot in two hours.

So that was it. Within two hours of hearing that from customer, we were put out of work on the spot. They had set up this guy in another depot on other side of town and from 1st June the work was his. That previous week we spent nearly $3000 extra in body repairs to truck and subcontractors to cover deliveries during repair time. All in vain. Truck has sat idle since.

We had to put off our driver who has two small children, and also had to break news to Dad. Not to mention the fact that we are still reeling, having been given no real reason for their actions. Can't believe they can legally put you out of work without notice. Hate to think of others going through this too, good on you for your voice. Just wished I'd read it earlier.

Keep up the good fight, you are very needed indeed. Thanks for your time, hope our story spurs you on.

Big business should not be immune to fairness and respect.


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