SARTA: TWU members are quitting, pulling super

Photography by: Greg Bush

The union's recent campaign that places a family in the path of a truck has been critised by the industry and, SARTA says, from its own members

SARTA: TWU members are quitting, pulling super
SARTA executive director Steve Shearer.


South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) executive director Steve Shearer has taken a second swipe at the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) over its "appalling misleading scare-mongering campaign" that sees a fatigued driver crash into a family-packed car.

Reaffirming his disappointment at the campaign, Shearer says it has "disillusioned" its members – shown by "social media comments and from what we are hearing directly within the industry" – resulting in "TWU members … leaving the union and pulling out from its Super fund in droves".

"The TWU is in disarray over its false and misleading claims and outrageously manipulative TV and radio campaign," he says.

The SARTA chief was joined by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell in slamming the TWU’s advertisements that link the removal of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) with the death of children. Watch it here.

He says the ads fly "in the face of what the TWU know is the actual truth and its members are increasingly fed up with them."

"In stooping to new lows, using images of children in a car, in its desperate and misleading advertisements as it tries to prop up its bid to have a Labor Government do its bidding and re-instate the disastrous Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, the TWU has offended not only the great bulk of the trucking industry but also many of its own members."

The latest round of criticism comes as the union protested the end of the RSRT and its 2016 ‘safe rates’ Order in a number of locations across the country.

The protests, which included convoys across the Bridge in Sydney, the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, and a go-slow on the South-Eastern Freeway in Adelaide, were backed by rallies in Perth, Brisbane, and Darwin, the union says.

Its national secretary Tony Sheldon says "the trucking community is coming together to say enough is enough."

"With the highest fatality rate of any industry, drivers want to be safe at work and they don’t want to risk the lives of others.

"Drivers are being pushed to speed, drive long hours, skip mandatory rest breaks and skip maintenance on their vehicles.

"This is so wealthy clients at the top can make massive profits by cutting transport costs."

According to the TWU, "the Government’s own reports published in April show the link between road safety and the pay rates of drivers and that the safe rates system would reduce truck crashes by 28 per cent."

Numbers Shearer rejects.

"Today’s protest shows the TWU is still happy to thumb its nose at the truth and the public, as well as to many of its own members, and keep peddling its false and grossly exaggerated claims of accident rates," Shearer says.

The industry body chief says the union "knows [the statistics it is using] are completely at odds with government figures, including from the SA Labor Government."

Shearer says the TWU is choosing to "ignore" a "report released by Road Safety Minister, Michael O'Brien in 2013; that 74 per cent of fatal car-truck crashes are caused by the motorists involved, not by the truck driver."

He says "the TWU knows the truth but they … want to fool the public."


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