Drivers welcome paid waiting times

Release date: 29/04/2010

The Transport Workers Union has today welcomed new regulations outlined in the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS), saying paying drivers for time they spend waiting at the stevedore is a huge step forward for fairness and safety in the industry.

TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the historical announcement by Minister for Ports and Waterways, Paul McLeay, was providing a guarantee to drivers around Port Botany that if stuck in a line for hours, they will not have to make up time at the end of the trip.

“We have conducted surveys where drivers are telling us they are spending an average of 22 hours a week unpaid waiting in line to load and unload,” Mr Sheldon said.

“Financially, they can be forced to make this up in other ways by driving harder or cutting corners with proper vehicle maintenance. By having paid waiting times, the company driver, or the owner driver, is not sitting in their investment not making a cent.

“This regulation is vital, and in May the Transport Workers Union will be talking to the industry nationally about how this should be rolled out across the country,” Mr Sheldon said.

The Transport Workers Union said that waiting times were a problem throughout the road transport industry, not just at the waterfront.

“We often are told of drivers waiting for hours at a distribution center to load or unload the goods, and they are not paid for their time,” Mr Sheldon said.


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