TWU lauds renewed Labor commitment to Safe Rates

Road safety ‘system’ intention announced at ALP National Conference

TWU lauds renewed Labor commitment to Safe Rates
Kaine at Labor's national conference. Image: Michael Kaine/Twitter


Labor has made an announcement at its national conference that, should it be elected in 2019, it intends to legislate for a national system of Safe Rates, which has been endorsed by the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU).

The TWU says Labor‘s "commitment to improving road safety will see the party engage with the TWU and key industry players in developing a system of safe standards which will apply to all parties in the transport supply chain and raise standards across the industry".

"A Federal Labor Government will, as a matter of urgency, legislate for a national system of Safe Rates consisting of an independent body with responsibility for safe standards of work including fair payments and conditions. This task has become more pressing given the emergence of new technology and the gig economy in passenger and freight transport which has accelerated the downward spiral throughout the transport industry," Labor’s resolution reads.

The following principles will guide the system:

1. Universal application of a system of binding, enforceable and safe standards. The standards will cover all parties in the transport supply chain/contract networks to ensure safe performance, planning and appropriate payments. The standards will focus on eliminating economic and contractual practices that place undue pressure on transport supply chains/contract networks

2. Appropriate, enforceable payments and related conditions for all operators and workers, regardless of label

3. The capacity to resolve (including where necessary through binding decisions) transport supply chain/contract networks disputes

4. Appropriate and adequate enforcement regime

5. Appropriate resourcing of supply chain/contract networks auditing, training and education through an industry fund.

Read ALP’s Sterle and TWU’s Kaine pre-election line on reform and cooperation, here


TWU national secretary Michael Kaine described the announcement as an "important day for industry because we can be assured that under a Labor government, there will be a priority to make transport safer and fairer".

"The industry is on its knees because of the way wealthy companies at the top demand that their goods be delivered for the bare minimum," he says.

"In trucking, this means constant financial pressure on transport operators and drivers. This sees drivers pushed to work long hours, speed and skip rest breaks and it means vital maintenance on trucking fleets is delayed.

"This is why transport is Australia’s deadliest industry and why there are such high numbers of deaths and injuries in truck crashes.

"Today the transport industry has a brighter future, with a plan for sustainable businesses, quality jobs and safer roads."


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