TWU continues cemetery theme for safe rates action

Another 287 crosses erected in the centre of Sydney to pressure governments into overhauling driver pay rates

TWU continues cemetery theme for safe rates action
TWU continues cemetery theme for safe rates action
December 7, 2009

Another 287 crosses have been erected in the centre of Sydney, as the Transport Workers Union continues to push for immediate action on driver pay rates.

The crosses were planted in Martin Place to represent the number of deaths from truck crashes since a report was released last year recommending an overhaul of payment methods.

TWU NSW Secretary Wayne Forno says the setting a minimum rate will allow truck drivers to recoup costs for their work, rising fuel prices and waiting times.

"287 deaths have occurred in the 12 months since a landmark National Transport Commission report was released, which stated that payment systems forced drivers into unsafe practices," Forno says.

"W have drivers spending upwards of 22 hours a week unpaid waiting to load and unload their goods at the docks of major retailers. They are tired before they hit the road and have to make it up somehow."

Forno claims current practices are forcing drivers to break their limits.

"It is not good enough and has to stop," he says.

The NTC report, based on the findings of an inquiry into the industry by Professor Michael Quinlan and Lance Wright QC, urges an end to incentive-based payments such as the cents per kilometre rate.

The report argued there was a link between low rates of pay and safety in the trucking industry.

The TWU last week planted 287 crosses at Parliament House in Canberra.

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