Industrial changes still threatening 35,000 small trucking businesses as RSRT report released
15-Sep-2016 8:54 AM
The impacts of union pushed pay orders that brought Australian small trucking business to a standstill in April 2016 are still being experienced today, indicates a report released by the Federal Government today.
Issued by the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, the pay orders were challenged in the Federal Court by the National Road Transport Association, a legal challenge, which helped bring about the abolition of Tribunal by the Senate.
“On behalf of our members and the road freight industry we are grateful that the Federal Government and the Australian Small Business Ombudsman took a closer look at the impacts of these unfair industrial changes on our sector,” NatRoad Chief Executive Warren Clark said.
“Many of our members attended the hearings throughout the country and found the Inquiry respectful and valuable.
“As the largest representative body of small trucking businesses in Australia, we continue to hear from members about the impacts these unfair pay orders and humiliating Tribunal hearings had on business and people’s wellbeing,”
"We wrote to the Federal Government Ministers calling for a compensation package for the industry and while this has not been taken up we will continue to seek support for small trucking businesses doing it tough.
“It is not over – now we can see similar confusing union pushed changes in New South Wales which are further impacting small trucking businesses.
“It looks like union backed industrial changes are designed to push out mum and dad family run trucking businesses so that they can gain control of the industry.
“If you don’t want to see mum and dad family trucking businesses threatened again then I encourage you to sign our petition to help the NSW Industrial Relations Minister wind the latest industrial changes back before its too late.
“Loss of work, an increase in the minimum rate by a proposed 30 per cent, fear of $10,000 fines and confusion are starting to take hold in New South Wales as a result of the changes to General Carriers Contract Determination.
“The latest industrial changes for trucking are really confusing for NSW where 80 per cent of Australia’s freight is destined or passing through.
“The latest industrial changes in NSW were quietly introduced while the industry and operators were all focused on tackling the national pay orders earlier this year.
Mr Clark said the RSRT Inquiry report shines a headlight on the unfair payment practices that see small business waiting up to 120 days for payment and on the emotional toll financial strain places on drivers and families.
“NatRoad welcomes the move towards a code of conduct for the road freight industry to be overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Mr Clark said the report also highlighted two critical issues affecting the perception and future of the road transport industry.
“We have an ageing workforce behind the wheel and we fully support the call for a clearer pathway for young entrants to this vital industry.
“And we can always invest in road safety, particularly as the freight task increases in Australia we need to do more to help passenger drivers be safer around heavy vehicles in different traffic scenarios.”
To complete the petition to wind back the industrial changes in NSW and for more information about the campaign to stop confusing industrial changes in NSW visit www.natroad.com.au and click on ‘Take it back to Sydney’.