“The ATA was set up to promote better standards in trucking yet it is doing the absolute opposite of this. In the same week that links have been made to a retiree group which fronts as a conservative party campaign the ATA announces a position on road transport that makes as much sense as turkeys voting for Christmas. Its position shows it is opposed to fair, safe standards and rates for truck drivers and operators. It is opposed to a system which holds wealthy clients at the top of the transport supply chain to account for low cost contracts which result in businesses under pressure and deaths on the roads. Opposing these solutions makes no sense since they will ultimately make our industry stronger, our businesses more sustainable and our roads safer,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
“The ATA’s members should rightly be questioning the motivations behind the organisation. In light of recent press reports* about non-transparent links between members of the trucking industry, including those with links to the ATA, and a politically-motivated lobbyist group backed by the Liberal Party, ATA members should be questioning where their funds are going to and what the real agenda of the ATA is,” Kaine added.
“This is not the first time the ATA has gone out of its way to run down our industry. It has opposed a system that was on the cusp of guaranteeing 30-day payments to both drivers and transport businesses. It has no interest in ensuring that clients are held to account over low cost contracts. Its agenda appears both ideologically motivated and politically compromised. It is time that the rest of industry knows the truth about what drives this organisation because it is clear that achieving safe and sustainable businesses is not what it is about,” he added.
On Wednesday the TWU will join truck drivers, families of truck crash victims, academics, transport companies & associations, major retailers and politicians to agree to a legislative framework to ensure safety and fairness in road transport are the main priority.
The Safe Rates Summit in Canberra will involve participants discussing the crisis in the industry, with evidence showing trucking is Australia’s deadliest job and with trucks involved in a disproportionate number of road fatalities (16%). The summit will discuss the type of legislation needed to address the crisis.
“While the ATA agrees on what it is against, we will be joining industry associations, transport companies, clients, truck drivers and other interested parties to work out the legislative framework we need to address the problems we face. This will be an important forum focused on the future of our industry to make it stronger and safer,” Kaine added.