Trucking group launches nationwide strike over pay rates

By: Jason Whittaker

The Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association (ALDODA) has officially started its strike to pressure the Federal Government into

The Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association (ALDODA) has officially started its strike to pressure the Federal Government into legislating sustainable rates of pay for owner-drivers.

The fringe organisation has also accused governments of killing truck drivers by failing to build as well as maintain rest areas and through log book laws.

In a statement released by ALDODA Queensland President Lyn Bennetts, truck drivers will commence rolling stoppages and disrupt freight movements and deliveries from June 12 to June 25.

ALDODA has also threatened governments with legal action if it refuses to institute hourly rates, end log book fines, force customers to reduce loading and unloading times and fail to build rest areas with toilets, showers or running water.

ALDODA has given governments until June 25 to accede to its seven demands before taking court action.

According to Bennetts, federal and state governments are guilty of discriminating against owner-drivers "by refusing to legislate a safe, viable, sustainable base rate" to ensure truckies do not need to drive excessive hours to make enough money.

Furthermore, Bennetts accused all governments of negligence due to the lack of rest areas on freight routes. She says truck drivers are dying because they cannot access rest areas in order to revive.

"You have failed in your duty of care to provide the necessary infrastructure by way of not providing enough parking bays with the necessary humane requirements of toilets, showers and shade along with meal preparation areas for a driver to safely abide by," Bennetts says.

It is not clear how many drivers are striking, with Bennetts only saying ALDODA’s campaign has received strong support from owner-drivers as well as trucking companies.

Prior to the strike, ALDODA held a number of meetings to gauge support for its action. According to Bennetts, hundreds of truck drivers turned up to the meetings and endorsed ALDODA’s demands.

ALDODA's actions, however, have not gained the support of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) or the Australian Trucking Association (ATA). TWU Queensland Branch Secretary Hughie Williams says ALDODA will create more pproblems for the industry by threatening governments and disrupting freight movements.

Williams is concerned the group's actions will result in a public backlash against truck drivers.

ATN contacted the Minister for Transport Anthony Albanese’s office. However, a spokesman for Albanese declined to comment as he was unaware of the strike.

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