TWU makes pitch to owner-drivers

TWU Queensland branch extends olive branch to owner-drivers who took part in July's shutdown

By Brad Gardner

The Queensland branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) is making a pitch for disillusioned owner-drivers to help it drive industry reforms in the State.

The union will this weekend hold a meeting to develop a number of demands to take to the Bligh Government, while giving an update on its Safe Rates campaign.

The outcome of Saturday’s meeting will play a role in the TWU’s submission to the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) review into remuneration methods.

Queensland Branch Secretary Hughie Williams says the union will be meeting with Professor Michael Quinlan, who is assisting the NTC in its review, next Friday.

Williams says the union will be looking to those involved in July’s strike action to come forward with ideas to help owner-drivers deal with increased running costs, and what government can do to boost road safety.

"We let them [owner-drivers] do their thing [strike] but that didn’t work," Williams says.

Williams says it will be an open-floor meeting and attendees will be free to voice their opinions on what needs to be done

"We want to eliminate the road carnage. It is unacceptable," Williams says.

But he says the industry can only push for changes if it works together to effectively lobby governments. Williams says it is more constructive to sit down and talk than stage protests.

The Australian Long Distance Owners and Drivers Association (ALDODA) attempted a two-week strike to pressure the Federal Government to legislate a mandatory pay rate.

Another group protested against impending fatigue management laws. However, both strikes failed to have an impact, only lasting two days.

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