TWU keeps supermarkets in sights after crash

Union calls on major players in the retail supply chain to do more to promote safety of truck drivers

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | October 4, 2012

Although no links can be made between the recent fiery crash on the Hume Freeway that killed a driver and the pressures truckies face from the retail supply chain, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) is calling on the supermarkets to promote safety.

TWU Assistant National Secretary Michael Kane says the environment that drivers work in needs to be reformed.

The TWU has written to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal claiming the retail supply chain is using its power to apply pressure on road transporters.

"We call on all major clients to make sure their supply chains are operating in a way that promotes safety and not one that’s just focused on the bottom line because that leads to terrible situations," Kane says.

"We note the responses that we’re getting from drivers and companies around the country that it’s Coles who have been most aggressive in their contractual practices and scheduling.

"It’s those things that are leading them to be most quoted by the drivers."

A driver was killed on Tuesday near Violet Town when his B-double veered off the freeway and hit a tree before bursting into flames.

While it is too early to say a cause of the crash, Kane says the TWU feels for the driver’s family.

"The crash is still under investigation and we would never comment on the detail because that’s with the investigative authorities," he says.

"We know from this tragic experience that the family must be going through hell on earth at the moment and our hearts and thoughts are with them."

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