New IR legislation restores fairness into Australia’s workplaces

Release date: 25/11/2008

The Transport Workers Union has today welcomed the end of the extreme Workchoices legislation introduced by the Howard Government with the introduction of the Fair Work Bill into Federal Parliament.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon: “The Fair Work Bill represents the final nail in the coffin of John Howard’s extreme workplace laws and is a giant leap forward for all transport workers and their families across Australia.

“There is still more work to be done to ensure working families across Australia have access to safe and decent working conditions, fair rates of pay, the right to be represented in their workplace by a union and to bargain collectively.

“It is critical that all transport workers across Australia are protected by a system of safe fair rates which will allow them to safely do their job by receiving a fair rate of pay that alleviates the pressures they face every day on the road.”

A landmark joint Commonwealth/State Governments report handed done on the 7 November 2008 has already recommended the establishment of a national scheme for setting mandatory safe rates for employees and owner-drivers in the heavy vehicle industry. The report jointly commissioned by Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Independent Contractors Craig Emerson, and recommended a whole of Government approach to
solving the issues in the transport industry.

The transport industry is hyper-competitive that is dominated by the large transport clients like Coles and Woolworths setting the rates of pay and deadlines for drivers.

There is an urgent need to address the chronic safety crisis in the transport industry that saw 275 people needlessly die in heavy vehicle incidents in the 12 months to March 2008. Most alarming to all road users is that in the same period fatalities from heavy vehicles alone increased by 19.7% on the previous 12 months.

“The Federal Government should be congratulated on restoring fairness to working families and should now implement the necessary framework to end the carnage on Australia’s roads.”

Media contact Josh McIntosh 0408 463 199. 

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