TWU SAYS: Protection needed for drivers
REDSTAR and Hari Om are company names that will stand out in the 2018 section of the history books for the transport industry in Australia.
These are companies that have not properly considered the future of those who drive in the industry and in Redstar's case, where the company went into liquidation, no worker should be plunged into uncertainty, especially as they were days before Christmas.
Workers at Hari Om, a company running a fleet of defective trucks that were pulled off the road by the Roads and Maritime Services in New South Wales also face an uncertain future. Where is their protection from the loss of income at the hands of owners who refuse to maintain their trucks?
Where is the protection for drivers and their families from a company that leaves workers at the time of writing in a position of not knowing where the next payment or job is coming from?
Showing the spirit that exists in the transport industry, companies like Toll, Linfox and ACFS stepped up to the mark and offered to take on the drivers impacted by the collapse and help them ensure a continued future for their families.
In NSW Drivers can contact the TWU on 1800 729 909 for more information in Queensland they can contact 1800 804 533. Our job is to be with the workers and their families as they work out what comes next. The question still remains, who is responsible. It goes without saying that safety and care of drivers in this industry is a shared responsibility, but it is the drivers that are doing the heavy lifting.
This industry is in crisis not because drivers are causing it, it is instead the complicit and lazy nature of the federal and state governments in this country who will not provide proper and adequate policy that ensures drivers are safe at companies like Redstar and Hari Om.
Our stance is that the Redstar collapse, the issues at Hari Om and many companies that are in similar positions is proof of the crisis in the industry and the need for regulation. We need strong policy action from Premiers, Road and Transport Ministers and the Prime Minister. We need it before another driver dies, we need it before another family loses out.
We need a position from people like the Industrial Relations Minister that shows empathy and care for the workers in Australia. We need more than political statements because they do not keep a family in their home, with food on the table.
At the time of writing, an ASIC report shows that 469 companies entered into external administration in the transport, postal and warehousing industries between July 2016 and June 2017. The main reason for the insolvencies was inadequate cash flow. At the time of writing 469 people have been killed in truck crashes since the shut down of an industry watchdog trying to make it right for the Transport Industry.
Let those figures sink in, think of the families who support our transport industry and join the fight for a better future.