Industry News

Truckies lobby for ‘lifesaving reform’ in Canberra

A 30-strong delegation of truck drivers, rideshare drivers, food delivery riders, transport operators, employers and associations are at Parliament House this week to meet with parliamentarians and call for the passing of transport reform.

Over two days, Parliament House will receive unlikely allies including Australian Road Transport Industrial Organisation Secretary Peter Anderson, Queensland Trucking Association CEO Gary Mahon, Western Roads Federation CEO Cam Dumesney, major transport operator ACFS CEO Arthur Tzaneros, and TEACHO Chair Paul Ryan joining with workers and the Transport Workers’ Union.

The delegation will share the urgency of passing lifesaving reform to set fair, safe and sustainable standards in transport.

So far this year, 60 people have died in truck crashes, including 17 truck drivers. Last month, a rideshare driver was murdered, and 11 food delivery riders have been killed since 2017.

Truck driver John Waltis will share the devastation of 1500 Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics workers who recently lost their jobs to the company’s collapse, while FedEx owner driver Tony Matthews will update on the operator’s attempt to move into a dangerous gig model.

Yavuz Cikar, the uncle of a food delivery rider tragically killed in 2020 will talk of the family’s grief and the denial of any compensation because of loopholes denying gig workers rights to workers’ compensation.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said it is important Federal Parliament hears directly from workers and employers alike about the realities of working in an industry in crisis.

“Just this year, transport has suffered devastation after devastation,” said Kaine.

“There are now 60 families grieving for loved ones killed in truck crashes, while 2000 more face the prospect of losing their jobs to the collapse of operators under unsustainable strain.

“This year has also seen wealthy supply chain clients reaping enormous half-year profits. These are profits reaped from the razor-thin margins of transport operators, piling deadly pressure on workers and causing thousands to lose their jobs to administration.

Kaine said the transport industry needs safe, fair and sustainable standards to rebalance transport supply chains, ease the pressure and ensure trucking can thrive long into the future.

“We’re here in Canberra to share these stories with decision-makers who will be asked to pass lifesaving reform later this year. The evidence of these firsthand stories, and the unity of this unlikely group should ring a determination in politicians to push through regulation without hesitation or delay.”

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