Release date: 28/07/2009

The Transport Workers Union, representing more than 85,000 workers in transport and distribution across the logistics chain, has today welcomed the decision by the Rudd Government to adopt a policy of procurement where the contractor supplying to the government will be accountable for the treatment of their employees and sub-contractors.

TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said with more than 280 people being killed on our roads each year in the transport industry, the new policy, along with the government’s previous announcement of working to implement safe rates, will go a long way to improving safety on our roads.

“This is something the entire union movement has been working towards for a number of years and to have it coming through as Labor policy is a fantastic win for working families,” Mr Sheldon said.

“But the proof will be in the way it is enacted. The policy will include the logistics sector, which can mean moving goods or people by rail, road, air and sea. We need to see the employees of that sector have their standard of living maintained, and their work environment safe.

“We will be watching how the wages and conditions of transport workers, including couriers, removalists, airport workers and employee and owner drivers, would be affected under the policy.

“With the government also looking at subcontracting we would hope that there will be real change in our industry.

“A National Transport Commission report released in November recommended has the establishment of a national tribunal for setting and maintaining safe rates of pay in the trucking industry. Since then, over 200 have been killed on Australian roads in the transport industry,” Mr Sheldon said.

Media Contact: Seth Tenkate 0408 463 199. 

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