TWU to put pollies on the spot on safe rates

Union boss says politicians will be asked in the lead-up to the federal election where they stand on safe rates for truck drivers

August 9, 2013

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) will spend the lead-up to the federal election to find out where politicians from all parties stand on safe rates for truck drivers.

Following another protest against Coles, TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says politicians will be asked "where they stand on ending the lethal squeeze on truckies and tackling the unfettered corporate power of the big bullies".

The TWU put a mangled truck on display outside Coles’ Prospect store to highlight what it says is the impact of unsafe pay rates on truck drivers.

"Safe rates is a matter of life and death and TWU members and supporters deserve to know where politicians stand on this critical issue," Sheldon says.

"Truck drivers share the roads with everyone else. That’s why the safety of truck drivers matters to everyone on our roads."

The TWU earlier this month asked the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to impose greater obligations on the supply chain, such as making participants accountable for ensuring truck drivers were paid enough to make ends meet and complete jobs without cutting corners on safety.

It also wants the likes of consignors and consignees to play an active role in the development and monitoring of safe driving plans and to pay a levy to finance trucking-specific training initiatives.

"Research has found that every 10 percent more that drivers earn in pay is associated with an 18.7 percent lower probability of crash, TWU South Australia and Northern Territory Secretary Ray Wyatt says.

"Forcing drivers to work faster and longer might sound like efficiency to a faceless bean counter, but to everyone else who uses the road, it’s a recipe for disaster."

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