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RESULTS OF THE TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION 2009 SAFE RATES SURVEY

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RESULTS OF THE TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION 2009 SAFE RATES SURVEY Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                 TWU NSW secretary, Wayne Forno, International
                                                                 Transport Federation general secretary, David
                                                                 Cockroft, and TWU national secretary, Tony
                                                                 Sheldon speak to 300 protesters at a sit-in in
                                                                 Sydney, as part of the ongoing campaign of
                                                                 Safe Rates for truck drivers.




DRIVEN INTO
THE GROUND
THE COST OF DANGEROUS WORKING CONDITIONS IN AUSTRALIAN TRUCKING


     RESULTS OF THE
     TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION
     2009 SAFE RATES SURVEY
       TWU Secretary Tony Sheldon • (02)9912 0700 • www.twu.com.au • 31 Cowper Street, Parramatta 2150
WHAT IS HAPPENING ON AUSTRALIA’S ROADS?                                                                                              287
                                                                                                                                               Employers , under client pressure, are
                                                                                                                                               encouraging unsafe and illegal work practices.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      287
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Employers and clients are further
                                                                                                                                                                                                                externalising costs by making drivers pay for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                increased maintenance and running costs.
The latest statistics are in, and road transport is again the most dangerous job in Australia. Twenty per                                  •    In total, 64% of respondents had been pressured by
cent of workplace deaths occur in the trucking industry.                                                                                        their employers to use unsafe working practices             •     Only 15% of drivers were able to recover costs

There will not be a reduction in this appalling figure unless systemic problems are corrected with                                         •    44% pressured into breaking driving laws
legislation to provide safe rates and conditions across the sector.                                                                                                                                  287
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Squeezed at both ends, drivers have no choice
                                                                                                                                           •    29% pressured into carrying illegal loads                       but to reduce the upkeep of their vehicles.
In the year to November, 287 people were killed in truck accidents. This period coincided with the
                                                                                                                                           •    44% pressured intro driving excess hours                    •     56% were forced, by economic pressure, to lower
anniversary of the release of the National Transport Commission’s report, which criticised:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  maintenance standards
                  LOW RATES OF PAY                                                                                                                “I was threatened with the sack if I didn’t
                  INCENTIVE-BASED PAYMENT METHODS (SUCH AS PER KILOMETRE OR PER TRIP)                                                             cheat logbook hours.” RESPONDENT H, QLD                          “Service intervals have doubled.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   RESPONDENT A, VIC
                  UNPAID WORKING TIME AND DEMURRAGE
                                                                                                                                                  “They make me drive hot and fast. ‘Good’
                  THE HYPER-COMPETITIVE NATURE OF THE INDUSTRY AND                                                                                paperwork won’t give you rest.”                                  “Basic repairs take two to four months to fix,
                  THE LOW BARGAINING POWER FACED BY DRIVERS                                                                                       RESPONDENT Q, QLD                                                on the run. I can’t afford to stop the truck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   running!” RESPONDENT D, QLD
The Transport Workers Union is determined to help enact safe rates legislation as soon as possible.
                                                                                                                                                   “Every company wants to fill trucks up as
                                                                                                                                                  much as possible, even when overloaded.                          “My tyres and windscreen are not up to
                                                                                                                                                  They don’t want to know about the                                standard.” RESPONDENT E, NSW
WHY IS IT HAPPENING?                                                                                                                              consequences. It’s the same shit everywhere.
                                                                                                                                                  I have told the contractors / excavator drivers
                                                                                                                                                  on many occasions, but if you don’t like it?                     “I just don’t have the money [for services].”
 287
           The work is punishing. The workforce is                  287
                                                                              Because most drivers are working                                    ‘Get off the job.’” RESPONDENT C, QLD                            RESPONDENT H, NSW
           ageing, and younger drivers see no future in                       long hours, this has significant safety
           the industry under current conditions.                             implications in an industry with entrenched                                                                                          And if employers cut maintenance, the driver is
                                                                                                                                                  “I was forced to load cattle at night,
                                                                              employment inequalities.                                            unassisted, during my rest time.”                                on the receiving end:
       •    54% have worked in the industry longer than 20
                                                                                                                                                  RESPONDENT N, NSW:
            years                                                         •    Examples of appalling work conditions imposed by                                                                                    “At [Employer name deleted], they sent me to
                                                                               employers include:                                                                                                                  Brisbane with faulty brakes. The brakes failed
       •    35% have worked in the industry between 10 and 20                                                                                     “I worked more than 12 days straight.”                           coming down [location deleted]. I’m only alive
            years                                                                  o   A South Australian company engaging sub-                   RESPONDENT I, VIC                                                because there was no traffic on the other side
                                                                                       contractors to drive empty, unpaid, from                                                                                    of the road.” RESPONDENT U, NSW
       •    only 7% have been in the industry five years or fewer                      Sydney or Melbourne to South Australia, to
                                                                                                                                                  “I was told, ‘Get the load there, or else—!’”
                                                                                       load.
       •    only 29% want to stay in the industry.                                                                                                RESPONDENT C, SA                                   These factors, taken together, mean
                                                                                   o   A West Australian owner-driver on the                                                                         a system of safe rates and conditions,
                                                                                       Perth−Darwin run not paid for drops or                     “Recently I said to a foreman on a job that
                  “Every cost is going up, rates are going                             pick-ups in Darwin or along the way, which                 every truck is leaving here overloaded and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     mandated by law, is urgently needed.
                  down. It’s a waste of time. I want out.”                             equated to 2 days’ unpaid work per run.                    he said, ‘We have cut the price on this job and
                  RESPONDENT C, QLD, aged 30.                                                                                                     have to cart heavy to make money.’ The truck
                                                                                                                                                                                                     •          95% of respondents think the
                                                                                                                                                  is overloaded I estimate 50% of the time.”                    introduction of safe rates is “extremely
                                                                                                                                                  RESPONDENT I, QLD                                             important” for the industry.
                                                                                   RESPONDENT J (VIC, aged 49) was forced
 287
           A system in which drivers are not paid for                              to work 12 days straight.


       •
           loading or waiting is exploitative.
            A quarter of our respondents (24%) worked 20 or
                                                                                                                                    WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
            more hours unpaid.                                                     RESPONDENT V (NSW, aged 38) is                   In December, the government announced the creation of a Safe Rates Advisory Council — comprising
                                                                                   expected to go from the Riverina to              worker, employer, and government representatives — to provide the basis for legislation that will make
       •    A small but worrying minority (5%) worked 30 or                        Brisbane in 14 hours, leaving 8-10PM
            more hours unpaid.                                                                                                      our roads safer, and our community happier and stronger.
                                                                                   and arriving for the 2AM timeslot.
       •    One respondent worked more than 44 hours unpaid.                                                                        If you have a story to tell, or suggestions to make, to the Advisory Council, please contact the TWU on
                                                                                                                                    (02) 9912 0788 or twu@twu.com.au




SAFE RATES SAFE ROADS NO COMPROMISES
                                                                                                           SAFE RATES IN THE NEWS




                                                                                                                                                                                                   Sydney Morning Herald 9 Jan 2010
                     The problem is that I am caught in the middle of this. If I get pulled over,
                     the transport department don’t want to know the reason that the truck is
                     overloaded. It’s my fault the truck is on the road. It’s an absolute joke. I
                     need to keep working to pay bills, and can’t complain too much because work




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Daily telegraph 9 Jan 2010
                     has been hard to find in the last 12 months. They need to get to the cause of
                     these problems — not just target the truck driver. How many times do you tell
                     people, “Don’t fill up the tipper bodies till they overflow.”? But the excavator
                     drivers are being told by builders and contractors to fill up as much as they
                     can. I am left to drive overloaded and carry all the risk. I am getting out of this
                     industry as soon as I am financially able to do so. I have no idea why anyone
                     would want to drive trucks, ... It’s way too dangerous. That’s why young
 Respondent C, QLD
                     people want nothing to do with it. I have also been looking for [local] casual                                       FED: Pay scheme to unload pressure off truck drivers
                     driving positions lately. I can’t believe the pathetic pay they are offering: $20                                         SYDNEY, Jan 9 AAP - Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard is pinning her hopes of a safer trucking
                                                                                                                                          industry on a restructured wages and payment scheme.
                     to $25 on an ABN. This is supposed to be good money apparently. What about                                              Ms Gillard on Saturday said a fairer payment scheme would result in safer roads and less pressure on
                                                                                                                                          truck drivers to flout laws governing their shifts.
                                                                                                                                             Her comments come in the wake of a study that showed almost two-thirds of long-haul truck drivers
                     GST? Super? Holiday and sick pay? Uniforms? Workers’ Comp? Insurance?                                                interviewed say their employers pressure them into using unsafe work practices.
                                                                                                                                             The study, involving more than 200 participants around the country, found 44 per cent of drivers had
                     You’re working for $10 an hour. This industry is a joke.                                                             been pushed into breaking the laws governing long-haul trucking, while 44 per cent felt pressure to drive
                                                                                                                                          excessive hours, Fairfax newspapers say.
                                                                                                                                             "How you pay the truck drivers induces behaviour; whether they drive safely or whether they push
                                                                                                                                          themselves to drive long hours because it's the only way that they're going to get paid," Ms Gillard said on
                                                                                                                                          the Nine Network.


YOU WOULDN’T WORK UNDER TH




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           AAP Newswire 9 Jan 2010
                                                                                                                                             "So, we want to make sure that the system of pay, what's called Safe Rates, is a system that's actually
                                                                                                                                          leading to good behaviour on our roads.


                                                                  ESE CONDITIONS.
                                                                                                                                             "That's why we've brought together the employers and the employees in the industry to work through an
                                                                                                                                          agreement, a system for Safe Rates."
                                                                                                                                             The study was commissioned by the Transport Workers Union and will be presented to the Safe Rates




                                                                                                                 Sunday Age 10 Jan 2010
                                                                                                                                          Advisory Group, which was established last month by Ms Gillard to advise the federal government on pay




   WHY SHOULD HE?
                                                                                                                                          rates in the trucking industry.
                                                                                                                                             Under the law, drivers are not supposed to drive for more than a 12-hour shift unless they have
                                                                                                                                          completed fatigue-management training, which allows for 14-hour shifts.
                                                                                                                                             Drivers must take a substantial break after five hours and must have a 10-hour break between shifts.
                                                                                                                                             AAP dac/cjb/cdh



                                                                                                                                                                  Authorised by Tony Sheldon, National Secretary, Transport Workers Union • 31 Cowper St, Parramatta 2150
                                                                                                                                                                                 Ph: (02) 9912 0788 • Website: www.twu.com.au • Email: twu@twu.com.au

				
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Description: RESULTS OF THE TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION 2009 SAFE RATES SURVEY