Squeeze on drivers

I AM pleased to announce that the TWU made its submission on October 2 to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal which began hearing submissions in September.

We delivered the message that we have always pressed consistently - that there is hard evidence and even more new evidence emerging now - that confirms the lethal pressures major retailers place on truck drivers.

This fact alone reinforces the need for the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to hold big retail bullies to account for squeezing the life out of truck drivers.

Our substantial submission to the Tribunal incorporated academic studies, decisions by commissions of inquiry and testimonials from truck drivers - all pointing to the lethal pressures imposed on truck drivers by retailers.

The simple fact is that driving a truck is Australia's most dangerous job, with a death rate 10 times the national industrial average.

So it is disappointing to see that a significant number of submissions to the Tribunal were also attempts to re-litigate the case against Safe Rates.

The TWU maintains that these are fundamentally flawed in origin, substance and motivation. Attempting to fix the industry by focusing on the symptoms of the current safety crisis rather than underlying causes and presenting solutions that focus on driver accountability alone are ineffective and inadequate approaches.

In the retail supermarket subsector, there are two dominant players in Australia. Between them, they account for more than 70% of retail industry market share.

The Tribunal ought to hold those retail giants to account for the deadly squeeze that they are putting on truck drivers and their entire supply chain.

We have called on the Tribunal to focus on the core of the safety crisis in trucking.

And we are also calling on the big retailers to lift their game.

Now is the time for retailers to take the high road and raise the standards for truck drivers across Australia.

Topics:  twu news, wayne forno

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