February 12, 2024


The TWU has vowed to tackle the ‘Amazon Effect’ by building on transport industry unanimity to establish fairer, safer standards for all transport workers under new legislation.

The union will reconvene industry discussions to ease deadly exploitation in the transport gig economy and address unsustainable payment times in road transport with the aim of making consent applications as soon as standard-setting reform comes into effect.

Reform to empower the Fair Work Commission to set and enforce standards in road transport and the gig economy has now passed both houses of Parliament, with amendments to the Closing the Loopholes Bill passing the Lower House today.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said:

“In transport, exploitation kills. There’s no time to waste to purge the industry of deadly pressures to rush, skip maintenance and stay on the road too long.

“The industry unanimity that achieved transport reform must continue to get safer, fairer standards in place as soon as possible. As relentlessly as TWU members worked to win this legislation, we will work even harder with the rest of the industry to use the new powers.

“The Amazon Effect of unchecked supply chain pressure and exploitative gig competition stands no chance against a united industry ready to set enforceable minimum standards.

“The signed principles agreements reached between the TWU and gig heavyweights Uber, DoorDash and Menulog have set the groundwork to establish appropriate standards for gig workers to lift pay and make transport gig jobs safe, secure and sustainable. The TWU will reconvene urgent discussions with gig companies on these standards to work towards a smooth, efficient and effective application process to the Fair Work Commission.

“In road transport, the union will work with an industry alliance of workers, employers, owner driver representatives and employer associations to ensure applications can be made on day one of the legislation’s commencement on important matters which already have industry consensus.

“Dangerous practices such as elongated payment times that push unsustainable financial risk onto transport operators and owner drivers on wafer-thin margins will be first cab off the rank. Transport businesses slugged with repair bills, sky-high fuel prices, and ongoing operational costs are waiting months or even years for payment for jobs completed.

“This reform can save lives and businesses, and it can do it quicker if the industry continues to work together.”

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