TWU calls for RSRT to focus on retail

Union want trubunal to go on the road with hearing to determine what priorities should be

TWU calls for RSRT to focus on retail
TWU calls for RSRT to focus on retail

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | November 20, 2012

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) wants the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to conduct retail supply chain hearings under its annual work program.

As the tribunal’s hearings kick off in major cities today, TWU’s Acting National Secretary Michael Kaine believes a sectoral approach to addressing the road safety crisis is needed.

"One thing that would be highly valuable at getting to the bottom of these issues in the retail sector would be for the tribunal to take itself around the country and conduct hearings right where these concerns manifest themselves and take minutes from employee drivers, owner drivers and fleet owners under pressure and really get to the face of where the concerns are," Kaine says.

"The retail sector is a good place to start because nearly all of the various issues raised and contained in the work plan occur frequently and with greatest intensity within the supply chain."

He has welcomed the program, saying industry’s feedback has been positive.

"It’s giving signals to the entire industry that it’s taking its responsibilities very seriously and intends to look at all of the issues that have been commonly raised throughout the industry and we know now that they’ll undertake the investigation about their own determination about what should be the priority and the order in which they should look at these matters and also consider about how to get the evidence."

Responding to submissions about the program received by the tribunal, the TWU states enforcement, post-breach and reactive measures are necessary but believes addressing issues solely will not solve crisis on the roads.

"While some submissions received by the tribunal attempted to present credible alternative priorities, it is the TWU’s response that these are fundamentally flawed in origin, substance and/or motivation," the submission states.

"Attempting to fix the industry by focusing on the symptoms of the current safety crisis rather than underlying causes and presenting solutions that focus on driver accountability alone are ineffective and inadequate approaches."

The tribunal was established on July 1 by the Federal Government after the National Transport Commission (NTC) reported a link between low rates of pay and poor safety in the trucking industry.

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