The TWU is speaking out for you
OUR convoy last month was more than just a call for better pay in the industry.
TWU Members decided that they would come out in noisy force on July 15, because we need to tell the story of the people in the industry being affected by corporate greed and an industrial relations system that is broken.
We have no dispute with the idea that truck driving is a great job, many have successfully made a living from the industry and consider transport a great career choice.
Our job is to speak out on behalf of drivers when there are issues and we will continue to do that.
There is the story from Michael who on the day of the convoy expressed his concerns to the TWU about the costs to his business.
Michael has been driving for over 15 years and reflects many that are concerned about the transport industry going "downhill”.
He pointed out to us the cost of road tolling on his business, a point the TWU has made in submissions to the New South Wales Government.
Michael said about toll costs: "When we pay tolls we are paying money to private companies yet we are still paying taxes to government to provide infrastructure”.
Michael is also concerned about what companies are thinking when they cut rates, given the costs of running business, which includes the need to service and maintain vehicles.
We heard from Kevin, a driver and a dad, who needs to know that a driver coming the other way has not been placed under financial pressure, is not driving stressed or fatigued by his workload and is not being pushed by an employer or contract to drive and "cut corners”.
The TWU convoy had a simple message: we need fairness and we need safe rates of pay to achieve a safe industry.
Transport is still the deadliest industry in Australia for workplace deaths.
We know that fatigue is an issue for our industry and Governments are providing band-aid solutions that mean the compliance is focussed purely on the drivers cabin.
We know that greed is an issue in our industry, greed from the big companies who want to profit off the backs of the drivers.
We know that indifference is an issue in our industry, coming for example from the NSW government who would rather fine and "electrocute” drivers to ensure they are safe on the roads.
We know that the Federal Minister for Small Business Craig Laundy is indifferent to the needs of owner drivers when he dismisses our call for safer working environments.
The TWU is calling on the State and Federal Governments to introduce urgent policies to not only investigate safety in trucking, but also hold companies to account that recklessly put profits before safety.
The TWU is fighting against this greed and indifference, and we are also fighting to ensure that the quality of jobs improves and that standards lift.
We are fighting for a vision which sees strong power in the workplace which will allow us to challenge those who believe CEO bonuses are more important than decent full-time jobs for workers.
By 2020, we want to have built momentum to drive real change in our workplaces for all who drive on the road.