RSRT ports proposal grabs attention of TWU

By: Brad Gardner


Union backs the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal’s plan to scrutinise the wharf and ports sector.

RSRT ports proposal grabs attention of TWU
The TWU says truck drivers hauling freight to and from Australia's ports deal with excessive unpaid waiting time.

 

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has backed plans for an investigation into the running of the wharf and ports sector, despite one industry body questioning the worth of doing so.

The TWU has written to the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) supporting its proposed third annual work program, which lists investigations into the port, waste and oil, fuel and gas sectors as priorities for 2015.

TWU national assistant secretary Michael Kaine says port practices include excessive unpaid waiting time, poor payment systems and serious vehicle maintenance concerns.

"The wharf and ports sector of the road transport industry has ongoing remuneration and safety related concerns," Kaine says.

"Further, the waste sector of the road transport industry also has ongoing supply chain concerns pertaining to remuneration and safety."

However, Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) believes existing remuneration practices are sufficient.

In a written submission to the RSRT, the group says most truck drivers involved in port work are paid under the Road Transport & Distribution Award or receive hourly rates.

It says truck queuing is a problem, but adds that existing state-based initiatives such as the Port Botany Landside Improvement Strategy (PBLIS) in New South Wales address this.

"Given the driver remuneration methods noted above, and the mechanisms for managing the operational interfaces, it is less likely for inadequate driver remuneration to be a significant factor impacting on road safety in the sector," CTAA director Gerard Langes writes.

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