National shutdown fails as owner-drivers return to work

By: Jason Whittaker


The so-called national trucking industry shutdown is fading fast, following the withdrawal of the National Road Transport Forum (NTRF), which

The so-called national trucking industry shutdown is fading fast, following the withdrawal of the National Road Transport Forum (NTRF), which originally led the July 28 action.

Organiser Mick Pattel has told owner-drivers striking to return to work, meaning the proposed two-week shutdown lasted for as little as two days.

This is despite Pattel claiming the shutdown would gain the support of 80 percent of the trucking industry and have severe economic consequences.

Pattel has blamed the Queensland and NSW governments for the failure of the shutdown because the relevant transport ministers are on leave.

According to Pattel, the governments are running scared because the ministers "have gone into hiding".

However, he says he intends to launch another action in the future by setting up a legitimate industry group to voice his concerns.

"The frustrations for the transport industry are far from resolved and the industry will now regroup in a formal entity and make clear plans for this next attempt to highlight their concerns to the public and government," Pattel says.

Pattel started the shutdown to force governments to accede to a list of demands, which included scrapping fatigue laws and the new work diaries as well as abolishing the National Transport Commission (NTC).

Support for the Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association’s shutdown (ALDODA) is also sagging, with a low turnout of truck drivers nationwide.

The group is now picketing transport companies and attempting to shore up support for a picket action against rising fuel prices.

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