PROTESTING: The Safe Rates convoy in Sydney.
PROTESTING: The Safe Rates convoy in Sydney. Colin Henderson

TWU SAYS: 'We need to end carnage'

TRANSPORT Workers Union members including owner-drivers, tippers, port operators, waste drivers, concrete truck drivers, couriers, van drivers and officials, created a convoy this month and locked up capital cities making a loud and visible statement to the Federal Government.

Drivers want an end to the carnage on our roads caused by the economic pressure brought down on them by corporations supported by governments, risking drivers' lives to cut costs and reap greater profit.

The Federal Government response is to sit on their own hands.

The TWU is standing up for our members across the transport industry.

However it's not just union officials speaking out.

Member drivers are telling us their stories, telling us there are serious problems impacting all drivers across the transport industry.

John Waltis, a member of the TWU New South Wales branch has been in the industry for more than 40 years.

In his own words "I've been to over 51 funerals over the years, of truckie mates who were killed in crashes, many because they themselves or other drivers were too tired to drive."

A report recently released reminds us that this is the deadliest industry in Australia.

Over a 10-year period more than 2542 Australians have died in truck crashes and this Federal Government sits on its hands, providing bandaid solutions that focus the responsibility and blame on the drivers.

The Federal Government has allowed companies to put profits before safety at the expense of workers and road users.

As I have said before in this column, there are industry bodies like NatRoad and the ATA who, to their shame, also seem to have no interest in taking up the fight to ease the economic pressure.

They also want easy, "voluntary" bandaid solutions, which shows there is a mindset in the industry that drivers are expendable.

It is time for drivers to join together on this issue of road safety.

Drivers are not at fault here. The TWU has 25 years' of evidence that shows who is at fault - the economic giants at the top of supply chains who are ripping money out of this industry and literally killing Australians on our roads.

On behalf of drivers, our members, we demand the Federal Government steps up and takes on the responsibility it is trying to shrug off.

Drivers need an adequate solution to the problems in the transport industry.

We need fairness, we need safe rates of pay, we need a safe industry.

If Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal government continue to ignore the safety of drivers at work, then in the view of the TWU, that will be a deliberate action.

It is supply chain murder.

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