Supermarkets at the Top of TWU's List

Release date: 3/10/2012

Supermarkets headline a list of sectors the Transport Workers Union (TWU) wants the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to investigate under its annual work program.

Brad Garden, Australasian Transport News, 3 October 2012

Drawing on comments made previously, the TWU has written to the tribunal claiming retail supply chains are using their economic clout to apply commercial and operational pressure on road transporters.

The tribunal is currently developing its annual work program, which will outline the areas of the transport industry the government body intends to look at to determine if particular practices are causing dangerous on-road behaviour.

The TWU says supermarkets are an ideal starting point for the tribunal because Coles and Woolworths exert influence over about 30 percent of the road transport industry and drivers carting goods for retailers feel pressure to break road transport laws to meet deadlines.

“Additionally, the distribution reach of the major supermarkets is national, ensuring that the benefits of all of the Tribunal’s findings are certain to be experienced by drivers and transport operators throughout Australia,” the TWU writes.

While saying supermarkets should be the tribunal’s “primary focus and first priority”, the TWU is already eyeing other sectors.

“The TWU will, at the appropriate time, address the Tribunal on issues and solutions in respect of excavation, oil and gas, resources, waste, cash-in-transit and pick up and delivery supply chains,” it says.

“Each sector will require discrete examination to ensure that solutions are appropriately identified and tailored.”

Established on July 1, the tribunal has been tasked with stamping out dangerous pay and pay-related practices. It will be free to issue remuneration orders binding all parties in the supply chain if it believes doing so will improve safety.

The tribunal will, from next year, be free to hear disputes between drivers and operators, and operators and their clients.

The Federal Government established the body after the National Transport Commission (NTC) reported a link between low rates of pay and poor safety in the trucking industry.

Click here to view the original article at Australasian Transport News

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