TWU keeps the heat on transporter over fatigue

TWU vows to keep the pressure on United Resource Management, which sacked a truck driver for raising fatigue management concerns

TWU keeps the heat on transporter over fatigue
TWU keeps the heat on transporter over fatigue
By Brad Gardner | June 15, 2011

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has vowed to keep the heat on a trucking operator that sacked its driver for raising fatigue management concerns.

TWU NSW Secretary Wayne Forno says the union will continue to target United Resource Management in the wake of its decision to refuse work to Tony Richard Forrow.

Fair Work Australia recently found the waste transporter guilty of unfair dismissal when it took Forrow off the roster after he voiced concerns about working too many hours.

"I won’t be totally satisfied until we further investigate URM because we don’t intend to lay off URM when they’re breaching these laws," Forno tells ATN.

He has also called for strong penalties for companies that sack drivers if they raise fatigue management concerns.

"That’s fundamentally wrong and fundamentally against the fatigue laws. So there’s got to be harsher penalties imposed," Forno says.

He has criticised Warringah Municipal Council, which uses United Resource Management, saying it should also take responsibility for the issue.

Fair Work Australia will soon rule on compensation for Forrow, and Forno says the TWU will seek full reinstatement.

He says the TWU still receives reports that operators are getting drivers to breach fatigue management laws, which were introduced in 2008.

"We intend to pursue that to the nth degree," Forno says.

During the Fair Work hearing, Cambridge labelled United Resource Management’s actions "unconscionable" and unlawful.

"The evidence has firmly established that the reason for the instruction to the applicant not to work on 21 December [2010] and beyond was a punishment in retaliation for the applicant raising issue about working hours in excess of the fatigue management regulations," Cambridge says.

Fair Work Australia was told the company asked drivers to work longer to clear a backlog of tasks.

Forrow told his supervisor, Ernesto Butera, he would exceed his permitted work hours if he continued driving. When Forrow returned to the depot, Butera told him not to come back.

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