19 October 2015

Draft resolution from international meeting supports the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal.

A push is underway internationally for an examination of adopting the Australian model of improving safety for truck drivers.

A draft resolution from the outcome of last week’s meeting of the United Nations’ labour body, the International Labour Organization (ILO), supports researching best practices to reduce the exploitation of truck drivers around the world.

The resolution was put forward by worker representatives at the meeting.

It says they recognise “the need for fair and safe remuneration systems” and that the research should look at Australia’s “Safe Rate model” (the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal).

The resolution adds that a code of practice should be introduced on best practices in road transport safety with the aim of protecting the community and workers, preventing accidents and promoting safe and fair remuneration.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU), which last week travelled to the ILO meeting in Geneva to argue for the Australian system to be adopted internationally, has welcomed the news.

“This is a huge boast for our system in Australia which links the rates drivers are paid to safety on the roads,” TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon says.

“Other countries have now recognised that pressures on drivers lead directly to the carnage on our roads.

“This is about holding those accountable at the top of the transport chain – the wealthy retailers and manufacturers – for the deadly effects of low cost contracts.

“No more should the trucking and wider communities have to bear this brunt.”

The draft resolution also states the transport industry has some of the highest injury and fatality rates and that supply chain practices often lead to pressures on drivers that undermine their rights at work.

“The pressures to skip breaks, overload vehicles, speed and drive for longer than is legal are problems for drivers all over the world,” Sheldon says.

“We need a global effort to tackle these problems and stop the carnage. We now have the green light to do this.”

Extracted in full from ATN.