It Took Hard Yakka but We Won Safe Rates Battle
Release date: 27/01/2016
Big Rigs, by Michael Aird, TWU NSW Secretary, 26 January 2016
Decades of hard-yakka campaigning by truck drivers standing together as part of the TWU has scored a major success, with the recent ruling by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal on minimum safe rates for owner drivers.
In the world-first ruling, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal has approved national minimum payments for contractor drivers (owner drivers) in the long-distance and retail sectors, to come into effect from April 4.
This decision was only possible because drivers across the country stood together as part of the TWU and fought bloody hard to make this a reality.
It's an important step towards making suppliers and transport bosses pay truck drivers properly for their work.
Professional drivers like you keep this country running. You should be compensated properly for your work and the time spent away from your family.
But for too many years the lion's share of the profits has been going into the pockets of the major retailers and the CEOs at the top of the supply chain.
This pressure has led to devastations in our industry.
In 2015, 53 transport workers didn't come home to their families. That's 53 husbands, fathers, sons and mates that will never come home.
We all know what causes this carnage in our industry and on the roads. But it took drivers willing to stick their heads up and tell the tribunal to make the difference. Drivers willing to speak about the unpaid breaks, poorly maintained trucks and relentless pressure from clients.
This order is another step on the road to a safer, fairer road transport industry, but it doesn't fix everything. So while we can celebrate this victory there's a heck of a lot more to do.
We are currently seeking similar orders from the RSRT in other sectors: oil, fuel and gas; waste; ports and wharfs; and cash-in-transit.
And we are continuing to stand up to the grubby clients and shonky bosses who refuse to pay drivers fairly and pressure them to bend the rules.
So join tens of thousands of drivers across Australia standing together as part of the TWU, and together let's take the next step.
Contact the TWU today on 1800 729 909 and join the winning team.
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