TWU leads convoy to Canberra for safe rates

Convoy of hundreds to hit Canberra this weekend in support of TWU campaign for safe rates in the trucking industry

June 17, 2010

Canberra will this week be inundated with a convoy made up of hundreds of trucks, buses and supporters vehicles to push for legislation on a new pay rates scheme for truck drivers.

The Transport Workers Union is leading the convoy, which will head to the lawns of Parliament House on Sunday.

The move is part of the TWU’s campaign for a safe rates scheme the Rudd Government is currently working on.

The vehicles will leave the outskirts of Sydney at 7.30am on Sunday, with a final rally point at Eagle Hawk Hill at 11.30 before entering Canberra.

Drivers will rally on the lawns of lower parliament house at Federation Square, with drivers, family members and union representatives to speak to the gathering from 12.30pm.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says it has been more than 18 months since the release of a report that identified a link between rates of pay and safety.

A hand-picked government advisory group is currently working on a proposal to implement a scheme to ensure drivers and operators are adequately reimbursed to ensure they do not need to cut corners to make ends meet.

The TWU wants a national tribunal to mandate rates and conditions covering drivers and employers.

"We need to see drivers get full cost recovery so they are not forced to undertake unsafe working practices to make a living," Sheldon says.

"We are moving towards it but this is a timely reminder of why safety in our industry is of utmost importance, and cannot be ignored any longer."

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