Fighting to end the inequality: Big Rigs and TWU
THIS is the end of an era, the last TWU column in the trusted transport industry magazine Big Rigs.
Over the years the TWU and Big Rigs have played their parts in the role of keeping the top end of town accountable and doing our bit to look out for the rights of the little guy.
It's still about the voice that speaks out for the truck driver, the owner and the employee. It's been the voice that calls out for the fair pay for the work you do, for safety in the drivers' cab and on the road, the voice that seeks to relieve the pressure on the driver pushed by clients' incessant cries for increased productivity for the same rates and conditions.
It is obvious we still have a long way to go, we have been through countless road, freight and transport Ministers and nothing changes. Truck drivers are still dying at work. It's a pretty safe bet to say that this is due to the lack of strong Government policy in place, policy which should be keeping safe one of the most dangerous industries in Australia.
To quote one truck driver now Australian Senator, Glenn Sterle, " … a death at work or on the road should not be the price of doing business."
The TWU puts it to Governments that we must stop the inequality that currently exists between truck drivers and clients. Drivers must be paid proper rates, owner-drivers must be able to trust that they will be paid properly for the work they do and on time. Families depend on this.
Many of the ongoing problems that occur are down to the big clients squeezing our industry as dry as they can. They want operators to meet their unrealistic deadlines and take on more freight for less or they face the risk of losing their contracts and the ability to support their families.
It appears the Government does not care. There are unsafe vehicles, dodgy licences, poor payment times, wage and superannuation theft - just a few of the many things we have called an end to.
Once again, a reminder to governments and the transport industry clients, the industry that has kept Australia moving during the pandemic is facing an uphill battle. Employer groups should be standing alongside transport workers to unite for a safer and fairer industry.
A final reminder to all Big Rigs readers, now is the time to unite, now is the time to ensure equality in this industry. Together we can stand on common ground working to ensure the Government continues to support transport workers and the industry they support.
The TWU will continue to voice the needs of Transport workers to the employers, their industry bodies, and the clients. Better standards mean job security and ultimately a safer and fairer industry for all.
We can lift the standards we need together; our lives depend on it.