TWU: ATA refuses to meet drivers, crash victims


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Union says the ATA is focused on money, not industry members

 

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has taken aim at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) today, accusing the industry body of failing to meet truck drivers and the families of truck crash victims.

The ATA, which is currently in a series of meetings post the RSRT’s successful repeal Bill on Monday, was the focus of a TWU protest this morning in Canberra and is alleged to have not given time to those attending the gathering.

In a statement, the union, which is an ATA member, claims the protest was about the ATA’s opposition to "a solution to the crisis in trucking - despite supposedly representing the transport community".

Sue Posnakidis, a regular feature of the TWU’s RSRT campaign and sister of John Posnakidis, who was killed in a truck crash five years ago, says she "came here to ask why the Australian Trucking Association is against fixing the problems in transport and why they campaigned against safe minimum rates for truck drivers".

"They wouldn’t even give us five minutes," she says.

The accusation is backed by protest attendee and owner-driver Roy Ballantyne, who says he has been ignored.

"They deny there is any problem in transport, they oppose addressing the difficulties in my job and they oppose lifting the rates," Ballantyne says.

"And now they won’t even meet us to hear what we have to say."

The protest and accusations from the TWU follow the success of the coalition and a number of independent senators in passing legislation to remove the RSRT earlier this week.

The move has been backed by industry groups, including the ATA, but has received strong criticism from the TWU and the Labor party, which instigated the tribunal in 2012.

TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon says the "focus of the ATA is simple: money."

"They oppose addressing the problems transport operators and drivers face every day," he says.

"Their mates in big business and Government are backing them on this and playing politics with people’s lives."

The ATA has been contacted for comment, but has yet to respond. 

 

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