TWU re­leases re­sults from post-blitzes

Australian Transport News - - News | Inside The Industry -

The Trans­port Work­ers Union (TWU) says al­most 93 per cent of the 1,000 truck driv­ers in­volved in its sur­vey re­ported feel­ing in­creas­ing pres­sure in the course of do­ing their jobs.

The sur­vey was con­ducted fol­low­ing a se­ries of Jan­uary po­lice safety ac­tions pre­dom­i­nantly in New South Wales in re­sponse to a spate of fa­tal truck ac­ci­dents there.

The TWU says the driv­ers nom­i­nated “the fi­nan­cial squeeze from ma­jor su­per­mar­kets and man­u­fac­tur­ers, bad roads, un­safe truck stops and un­re­al­is­tic dead­lines” as ma­jor sources of pres­sure.

“Two years ago, the Fed­eral Govern­ment scrapped scru­tiny and ac­count­abil­ity on the ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers and re­tail­ers like Aldi over poor rates in their sup­ply chains,” TWU act­ing na­tional sec­re­tary Michael Kaine says.

“This fi­nan­cial pres­sure means that trucks are not be­ing main­tained and driv­ers are be­ing pushed to speed, drive long hours and skip manda­tory rest breaks.

“The only re­sponse from the fed­eral govern­ment to the spike in deaths has been to in­crease the num­ber of speed cam­eras to catch driv­ers and to have po­lice fine them over breaches.

“This will not solve the prob­lems in the in­dus­try and it will not cut the num­ber of crashes. Un­less wealthy clients are held to ac­count for low-cost con­tracts the prob­lem in this in­dus­try will only worsen.”

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