Union Demands Pay for Truckies Be Lifted Further

Release date: 5/08/2013

The Transport Workers' Union has demanded an overhaul of a draft remuneration order for the nation's truckies, insisting a federal government tribunal further increase pay rates and impose a training levy on major clients who use road transport.

THE AUSTRALIAN, by Michael Owen

The demands are contained in a submission by the union to the first draft order of Labor's Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, set up last year by Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten after lobbying by the TWU.

The tribunal is pushing ahead with a round of consultations before the draft order is given the force of law, despite the opposition pledging to "urgently review" the body if it wins government.

TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said the draft remuneration order needed to be strengthened to "tackle the powerful role of clients at the top of the transport supply chain and fulfil the tribunal's mandate to ensure all truck drivers receive safe and fair rates of pay".

"The tribunal's orders must drive right to the top of the chain where the basis of these conditions are set," he said. "This means holding clients like Coles to account for forcing down conditions in what is already Australia's most dangerous industry, with a workplace fatality rate 11 times the average for all other workers."

But a Coles spokeswoman yesterday slammed the union's "false" claims. "The TWU continues to make false claims about our business which they fail to support with any evidence.

"The facts are that we use large and reputable transport providers such as Linfox and Toll who have outstanding safety records."

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