Union plans to pursue payment terms in 2016

By: Brad Gardner

TWU tells tribunal it will seek action on payment terms and dodgy practices in the courier sector.

Union plans to pursue payment terms in 2016
The TWU says long payment terms are putting the squeeze on trucking companies.


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) will next year seek action from the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) to address lengthy payment terms for trucking operators.

The TWU has listed it as one matter it will pursue, despite the RSRT not expressly including payment terms in its draft annual work program as a matter to be investigated in 2016.

In its written response to the draft document, the TWU says payment terms of up to 120 days are putting pressure on transport operators already getting by on tight margins.

"This increasingly common industry practice will continue to have a significant impact on safe and fair operations in the road transport industry," TWU national assistant secretary Michael Kaine writes in the union’s submission.

While the RSRT did not specify payment terms in its draft work program, it did state it intended to investigate road transport and distribution industry operations in a broad sense.


The Transport Workers Union says long payment terms are putting the squeeze on trucking companies and contractors.How long are you waiting to be paid?

Posted by Owner Driver on Wednesday, 9 December 2015


The union has taken this to mean it will be able to recommend an investigation of payment terms along with scrutiny of the courier and parcel delivery sector.

"As a result, the TWU looks forward to potentially addressing these concerns as part of broader considerations about road transport and distribution operations as set out in the draft program…," Kaine writes.

In its draft program released late last month, the RSRT proposed concentrating on finalising its current work agenda in 2016. This includes completing inquiries into the waste management, wharf and port, cash in transit, and the oil, fuel and gas sectors.

The TWU in early November asked the RSRT to investigate the courier and parcel delivery sector in 2016. It claims a combination of unsustainable cost models, pressure from large clients and unrealistic delivery schedules are undermining safety.

The TWU also wants a review of best practice measures in the trucking industry and says it will again push for it when the RSRT calls for submissions for its 2017 work program.

"Given that the inquiry has not been included in the draft Program, the TWU notes that it will be our intention to raise the issue when submissions are sought for the Tribunal’s Fifth Annual Work Program," Kaine writes.


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