Manageable schedule the key as TWU pushes retail inquiry

The TWU will this month urge the RSRT to put retail at the top of its comprehensive work program

By Brad Gardner | November 9, 2012

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) will this month front the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) urging it to put retailers at the top of its annual work program.

The RSRT recently unveiled its draft annual work program detailing a long list of practices and sectors it intends to investigate in the next year to determine if they are encouraging unsafe practices.

The full bench of the RSRT will hold a hearing on November 20 to allow interested parties to make suggestions on the draft work program and how inquiries should be conducted.

TWU Assistant National Secretary Michael Kaine says many of the practices outlined in the program are relevant to the retail sector.

"We hold the view one of the ways that you can look at all of those dot points is to do it sector by sector and our view is a good place to start is retail," Kaine says.

He says the union will also seek answers on how the tribunal intends to manage the workload that will come with implementing the program, which proposes looking at the livestock, rural, retail, linehaul sectors and their supply chains.

"The only real outstanding question is about the order in which that will occur and the manner in which it will occur," he says.

Kaine says the tribunal’s broad focus indicates it is taking seriously the number of issues raised in industry submissions lodged earlier this year with the RSRT.

He has welcomed the tribunal’s announcement it intends to include supply chains in its investigations. The TWU has constantly argued the need for authorities to target customers up the chain, claiming they are the root cause of unsafe practices in the road transport industry.

Some of the practices the tribunal intends to look at include payment methods, working hours, waiting time, contract tendering and the causes of accidents.

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