TWU: Pressure is still on drivers
WE ARE in the busiest season of the year for our industry.
As you go out to work, you would want to be assured that those who share the road with you are being given safe vehicles to drive and being provided training opportunities to ensure they are driving to the same professional standard that you are.
The sad reality is that some drivers are being sent out in trucks not fit for purpose, not fit for the road.
Drivers are fighting against greed and inaction at a range of levels, the squeeze from some greedy clients who want the job done and where possible done for the minimal cost.
It means things won't getdone that really should, like maintenance on vehicles.
Other drivers are up against it financially, with fixed contracts that mean making the income you need for your family becomes a struggle.
To pay the mortgage and the rent now means that many are working longer and harder, facing problems like the cost of fuel that never lets up its relentless climb.
Drivers are increasingly impacted by corporate greed.
The Chain of Responsibility means that major transport companies need to ensure they really know who is carting their goods.
Are the trucks fit for the road? Are the trucks safe enough to be driven and are the drivers trained properly?
As Senator Glenn Sterle put it recently when addressing major transport companies: "Did you know your freight's on the back of these buckets of crap?”
The TWU is investigating incidents like the one at Fairy Meadow in NSW that saw a truck crash through the carpark of a McDonald's restaurant on November 5.
A 57-year-old woman was taken to Wollongong Hospital with suspected broken ribs and the 23-year-old male driver was taken to hospital with back injuries.
The driver was sent out on the road in a vehicle with faulty brakes and bald tyres and the subject of exploitation, according to a whistle blower talking to Ray Hadley.
The rest of the fleet was subject to defect notices issued by Roads and Maritime Services in NSW.
The TWU won't slow down our investigation but we are still awaiting answers to questions we have asked.
What still matters is that drivers are not at fault here and the Federal Government knows it.
The union has 25 years of evidence that shows who is at fault for many of the issues our industry faces - the economic giants at the top of the supply chain.
In 2018 the relentless attack on transport workers has continued.
The TWU Christmas wish for drivers is: we need fairness, we need safe rates of pay, we need a safe industry.
As we get together with family and friends for the holidays we acknowledge the many among our members are gearing up to make our holiday season happy and run smoothly.
There are still too many accidents at this time of the year.
And tragically there is still no decent policy that makes our industry safer.
From the TWU, we wish you a safe and happy festive season.