TWU

Safe Rates For The Whole Transport Industry

Release date: 16/06/2016

Big Rigs, by TWU NSW Acting State Secretary Richard Olsen, 16 June 2016
 
SAFE Rates is our fight to make sure big businesses pay what it costs to transport their freight safely so that every transport worker, whether they are an owner driver or an employee, is paid fairly for all of the work they do – every hour, every kilometre and every cost.

When transport workers are paid fairly, they’re able to keep the rig serviced properly, put food on the family table and not feel pressured to speed or drive long hours.
 
All this will keep our roads safe and reduce fatalities on our roads.
 
Right now Safe Rates is under attack like never before by the Liberal Government and their big businesses mates who want it gone.
 
Our fight has taken place in the retail trucking sector but it also extends out to waste, cash-in-transit, waste, oil, fuel and gas sectors in the transport industry because no matter what you’re carting, if you’re being squeezed from the top by economic pressure it can lead to pushing safety limits on the road.
 
In the waste industry on the Central Coast, 69 waste operators have been on strike for over a week to make sure their jobs, pay and conditions are secure in the upcoming tender for Council waste services.
 
They’re not even asking for a pay rise but only want to safeguard their pay and conditions, however the Council continues to sit on their hands while waste piles up all along the coast.
 
In the ACT, waste workers took industrial action for several days in May.
 
Despite pressure from the company, they stood united.
 
They’re now back at the negotiating table fighting for a better deal.
 
Industrial action has been suspended for now, but if they don’t secure a fair go they’ll be back out on the grass. These are local waste workers, fighting for local jobs and their ability to provide for families.
 
There have been far too many examples, like the City of Sydney and Mosman, where waste operators have been thrown on the scrapheap by the new operator who has tendered at bargain basement rates to win the contract.
 
Cash-in-transit workers at Prosegur have been taking action of their own, holding a 24-hour strike in Sydney and Newcastle.
 
The company is attempting to introduce a two-tier wage structure that would mean any new employees would be on significantly reduced wages and conditions than existing staff.
 
Our members are united in their determination to fight back against this structure that will be bad news for new starters and bad news for existing workers in the long term.
 
Before the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was haphazardly abolished by the Turnbull Government, the Tribunal had active inquiries into the cash-in-transit sector (where low rates and unscrupulous operators have seen drivers shot and killed) the oil, fuel and gas sector (responsible for the notorious Mona Vale crash), the waste, ports and other sectors.
 
But it was all ignored during the political circus and Turnbull has washed away years of inquiries, progress and hard work to keep our roads safe.
 
We need to stand together as part of the TWU to hold bosses, transport clients and politicians to account.
 
We need to take bold action to hold big transport clients to account and support politicians who stand with us and help turf out those who stand with big business over transport workers and our families.
 
Our lives depend on it.

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