Tony Sheldon at the launch of the safe rates survey. Photo Contributed
Tony Sheldon at the launch of the safe rates survey. Photo Contributed Contributed

TWU fires at NatRoad alleging abandonment of transport companies and drivers

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has fired shots at the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) claiming they didn’t educate their members on the road safety watchdog’s Order on safe rates.

The charge by the TWU comes as submissions are due today at the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) for the implementation of the Contractor Driver Minimum Payments Road Safety Remuneration Order 2016.

According to the TWU, transport operators who gave evidence across the weekend testified to being taken by surprise by the Order last December and suggested they hadn’t done calculations on what the rates would mean for their business.

TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon said NatRoad has done its members a disservice by failing to inform them about impact or seek their input over two years of hearings and consultations on the order.

“A draft Order was released in August and even then NatRoad failed to educate its members.

“Since the final Order has come out it has run a scare campaign frightening people and gathering support in opposition to the Tribunal itself.

“NatRoad should be supporting it on behalf of its members," said Mr Sheldon.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says the claims are factually incorrect and that the company won’t be commenting further until the tribunal hands down their decision.

“The press releases about NatRoad being put out by the TWU are completely factually incorrect and it’s completely inappropriate to be commenting on a matter still before the tribunal.” Mr Clark said.

The TWU submission today will support an earlier application for the Order to stick to its April 4th start date and for the new safe minimum rates to be phased in from October 1st, while NatRoad continues to push for a delayed commencement of the Order.

TWU claims that their application has the backing of other major players in the transport industry.

Despite talk the allegations are false, Sheldon called on NatRoad to come clean to its members and explain why it intentionally kept them in the dark about the Order.

"Let us hear why NatRoad refused to communicate with its members.

“I would also like to know why they have been running a campaign against the one body which can hold wealthy clients to account which financially squeeze their members with low cost contracts,” Mr Sheldon said.

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