Union hits the road for 'safe rates'

TWU announces massive convoy of 1000 trucks to descend on Canberra later this year

By Samantha Freestone | March 10, 2010

In a bid to rouse the attention of Government to the plight of truck drivers, the Transport Workers Union is organising a 1000-strong convoy of trucks to campaign for safe rates.

The convoy is geared to arrive at Parliament House on June 20, as the union continues to push for mandated pay rates it says will cut the number of accidents in the industry.

Federal Secretary Tony Sheldon says the roads will remain unsafe until owner-drivers "can obtain full-cost recovery", adding to previous claims that clients are pushing down wages and causing drivers to work long hours.

"The Safe Rates Convoy to Canberra will be launched next week with flyers to go to all yards Trucks and buses will leave from a marshalling point in each of the sub-branches," Sheldon says.

"We need as many members and their families to come as possible and will be asking drivers to register their interest soon."

New South Wales Secreatary Wayne Forno is hoping to get as many members as possible to highlight the need for ‘safe rates’.

He says the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) inquiry showed a link between safety and rates of pay.

"With a safe rate of pay drivers will not be pressed to work unnecessary long hours," Forno says.

"With the convoy, were hoping for a large roll out—as many trucks as we can get."

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