Biggest Gathering Of Transport Workers In Australia Kicks Off In Melbourne Today

Release date: 18/05/2009

100 Council delegates representing more than 85,000 transport workers from across Australia will today convene in Melbourne to plan for the year ahead as the Federal Council of the Transport Workers Union kicks off its annual conference.

Key strategies to be discussed include the future of the transport industry under the new industrial relations system, the need for a system of ‘safe rates’ in the heavy vehicle industry; and a new plan for the aviation industry.

Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the TWU, today said:
“With 275 people needlessly dying in heavy vehicle accidents last year – this conference will set out our plan for a national system of ‘safe rates’, where drivers receive proper remuneration for all hours worked, that will help bring the safety crisis to an end.”

Key events taking place over the four-day event include:
• An opening address by the Victorian Premier, John Brumby.
• Address by the Deputy Prime Minister; Minister for Employment and Workplace
Relations; Minister for Education; Minister for Social Inclusion, Julia Gillard.
• Address by ACTU Secretary, Jeff Lawrence.
• A session looking at the unique pressures on men’s health in the transport industry featuring new data from Anne Williamson and Michael Hilton.
• An industry panel, featuring employee and employer representatives to discuss a proposal for an industry-wide code.
• A parliamentary panel on the need for safe rates in the heavy vehicle industry featuring Mark Butler MP (Member For Port Adelaide) Senator Steve Hutchins (Senator For NSW) and Senator Glenn Sterle (Senator For WA).
• A panel examining the need for government procurement policies that include the chain of responsibility provisions. This panel will include the ACTU’s Assistant Secretary Tim Lyons, National Secretary of the Liquor Hospitality Miscellaneous Workers Union, Louise Tarrant, and NSW State Secretary of the Textile, Clothing & Footwear Union (the Union representing Pacific Brands Employees) Barry Tubner.

The conference will be held at the Langham Hotel, One Southgate Ave, Southbank. Media Contact is Seth Tenkate 0408 463 199. TWU National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, will be available for comment throughout the week.


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