In a report by ATN, TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon speaks out against the scrapping of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.
According to the report, he said, “the coalition has removed “the one tribunal that give fairness and makes our roads safer.”
“Our roads will now see more deaths, more fatalities, and more owner-drivers and employees exploited”
Mr Sheldon was being melodramatic, saying, “the Liberal party leader “got rid of hope for thousands of owner-drivers and employees across this country.”
“We’re determined to fight, and fight again to make sure this country has safe roads and people that can live, breathe, and work on our roads without the fear of economic pressure that your government has now put on their shoulders.”
What is interesting about his statement is that Owner Drivers protested about the RSRO stating that 35,000 Owner Drivers would lose their income if the order was not reversed. Are these the very same drivers that have had their hopes dashed by removing the RSRT that Mr Sheldon was talking about?
I’m sorry, but I call BS on the TWU
First, if the RSRT issued the RSRO order for the safety of all road users, then it would follow that they blame Owner Drivers and their employees for the devastating road toll. That seems like a bit of a long stretch. Then at the same time, he would be saying that Union drivers for the big freight companies haven’t and don’t cause accidents, when the statistics say different.
I have spoken to many Owner Drivers and they have said that they were targeted for complete wipe out. There was no way they could survive if the RSRO was enforced because it only restricted what THEY could charge and was not addressed to all companies. What I am saying here is that if the RSRO was so critical to road safety for drivers, why wasn’t it applied across the board for all drivers and all transport companies? It would at least be fair to all involved, but as it was, many drivers have stated that they would be undercut by the bigger companies and put out of business very quickly.
Mr Sheldon goes on to say, “18 families that have lost loved ones this month, they aren’t statistics on a piece of paper, they’re real people and we’ll damn-well fight for them.”
While losing a loved one is tragic in so many ways, it is interesting how this works. So, what Mr Sheldon is saying is that he wants to put these owner drivers out of business because 18 families have tragically lost their loved ones.
I assume it has nothing to do with the fact that the majority of Owner Drivers are not union members and that the majority of company drivers ARE union members?
And considering that the 18 people that tragically lost their lives that he is referring to, must have been owner drivers or their employees, putting thousands of Owner Drivers out of business will somehow magically fix the problem. And it’s got nothing to do with forcing these Owner Drivers to go broke and take up employment with larger companies that are unionised, hence increasing union membership and revenue for the union?
If we are serious about reducing truck driver and other related fatalities on the road; and, if charging regulated rates for loads will fix this problem, then why not make the rule inclusive of all transport companies across the board? This would have to be the fairest system, but only if charging a fixed rate will reduce fatalities. It certainly seems like a bit of a stretch to state that it will.
Image source – Google