THE Transport Workers' Union have signed an enterprise agreement with Ron Finemore Transport as part of a safer and fairer deal for regional truck drivers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said the agreement is a powerful statement to transport operators across Australia, that drivers and their employers are committed to building a safer road transport industry.
"Ron Finemore Transport has given long-standing support for a safer road transport industry and the Safety Rating Scheme for operators," Mr Sheldon said.
"Operators like Ron understand that drivers and companies should work cooperatively to tackle the hundreds of fatal truck crashes each year.
"Together we are helping to save lives on our roads with initiatives like the Safety Rating Scheme, so transport clients, drivers and the community can know the operators who put safety first.
"With 330 people killed every year in truck related crashes on Australian roads, I encourage all operators and the Federal Government to get on board and lift standards in the industry, instead of engaging in a race to the bottom."
Ron Finemore said he was pleased to reach an agreement with the TWU and the company's drivers that will see them continue to deliver safe and efficient services to their customers.
"This agreement shows you can run a successful trucking operation in regional Australia, play fair by your workers and maintain first class safety standards," Mr Finemore said.
"Our philosophy is to look after our people and they in turn will look after us. "Safety in the trucking industry has always been a passion of mine and I would encourage other regional operators to help build a safer industry."
TWU NSW senior official, Nick McIntosh, said the agreement was a potential game changer for truck drivers' right across regional Australia.
"With this agreement drivers will get a fair day's pay for a hard day's work, safety standards will be second to none, and we've locked in commitments to help build a safer road transport industry," Mr McIntosh said.
"Drivers and operators across regional NSW and beyond should sit up and take note - with a strong union workforce and smart company management you can have fair rates and conditions, first class safety systems and still turn a profit."
Ron Finemore Transport driver and TWU delegate Jason Larfield said he was pleased with the outcome.
"We spent many long hours at the negotiation table. It was tough but it was always fair," Mr Larfield said. "I'm really pleased we've secured a deal that allows us to work hard each day, earn a living wage and return home safely to our families. I would urge other truckies and their families to speak to the TWU if they are not getting the same deal."
The TWU Ron Finemore Transport Enterprise Agreement covers more than 500 drivers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland.
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