RSRT urged to investigate non-compliant businesses

By: Brad Gardner


Union wants the tribunal to devote some of its time to inquiry into compliance in the trucking industry.

 

Investigating non-compliant trucking firms and their clients is being pushed as one of the key areas the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) should devote resources to next year.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) believes non-compliance in the industry is significant enough to warrant the tribunal’s attention.

The union made the proposal in response to the RSRT’s call for industry to nominate issues that should form the basis of its third annual work program, which is designed to outline the tribunal’s priorities for 2015.

"The Tribunal is the only body empowered to ensure all supply chain participants, particularly, clients, are held accountable for their roles and responsibilities in the industry," the TWU says in its written submission to the RSRT.

"On that basis, the TWU recommends that the third annual work program include an inquiry into matters of compliance in the industry."

The union specifically cites the need to enforce the tribunal’s first road safety remuneration order (RSRO) and the legislation underpinning the RSRT.

The RSRO, which has come under criticism from some parts of the industry, mandates written contracts, trip plans, payment times for contractors, driver training and drug and alcohol policies.

"Several parties across the industry including parties that have participated in the Tribunal’s annual work programs to date have raised concerns about the need to ensure that non-compliance with key industry initiatives is addressed," the TWU’s submission states.

The TWU also wants an examination of the oil, fuel and gas transport sector to be added to the RSRT’s agenda.

The union previously made an application to the RSRT for new conditions to be imposed on the sector, covering loading and unloading, rostering, maintenance standards, driver training and licensing.

"Drivers in the OFG [oil, fuel and gas] sector of the road transport industry are disproportionately exposed to the risk of injury due to the dangerous goods that they transport and a failure on the part of transport operators and clients to ensure safe standards in the sector," the TWU says.

Furthermore, the TWU has requested the RSRT finish off its work relating to the retail, long distance, livestock and cash-in-transit sectors.

The RSRT is currently involved in work on driver pay rates and is soon due to release its findings.

The TWU says owner-drivers should be guaranteed full cost recovery and payment for their labour through the establishment of a minimum rate.

It has asked the RSRT to investigate matters the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has raised previously.

They include prescribed times for payment, paid waiting time, washout costs and accreditation and licensing requirements.

"The TWU acknowledges the value of these submissions and believes there is some value in pursuing these matters as part of the third annual work program," it says.

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