Truck Drivers And TWU Rally In Support Of Safe Rates
Release date: 6/04/2016
TWU SA/NT Branch Media Release, 6 April 2016
Truck drivers and the Transport Workers’ Union held a rally in Adelaide today demanding the Government lift an injunction on an Order setting safe minimum rates for drivers.
The noisy protesters held the rally as the South Australia Road Transport Association met Minister Christopher Pyne in central Adelaide.
“Truck drivers are dying on the roads. Other road users are dying on the roads – there were 25 deaths in truck crashes in March alone. Owner drivers are going out of business. But the Government insists on backing its rich mates in big business and opposing this Order,” said Ray Wyatt TWU SA/NT Branch Secretary.
Two more people were killed in a truck crash yesterday, this time in on the Newell Highway, south of Dubbo, after a collision between a sedan and a truck carrying sheep.
“The South Australia Road Transport Association are trying to scare drivers into opposing this Order by saying it will force them out of business but they represent the companies which will supposedly be sacking them. It’s scaremongering and nothing more. This Order will save lives on the roads and save owner drivers’ businesses,” he added.
The Order was made last December by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal after it held two years of consultation. It heard evidence and testimony from drivers about financial pressure to speed, drive long hours, skip mandatory rest breaks and forgo maintenance on their trucks. The Order was due to come into force on April 4th but a last minute injunction by the Federal Government and employers’ groups halted it.
Today a federal court hearing began in Brisbane where the TWU is arguing for the injunction to be lifted.
“Bankruptcies and suicides among drivers are high. Trucking is Australia’s deadliest profession with drivers 15 times more likely to die than any other profession. The Government need to get out of the way of this independent Tribunal and let it do its work in tackling the crisis in our industry,” said Wyatt.
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