As this pandemic rolls on and as the top of the supply chain increases its profit from the increased freight load, we need to ask the question, why is the truck driver still copping a lack of respect from those at the top?
The fight we are having to engage in is the fight for job security and safety where you work.
Toll is the classic example of the problems that beset the transport industry. The union has appealed to Toll to provide workers with job security provisions and abandon plans to engage an underclass of lower paid truck drivers, but Toll refused to budge.
Given the talks we have had with them, we understand they are forging ahead with an attack on jobs, aiming to drive down labour costs by scrapping overtime entitlements and engaging outside drivers on minimal pay and with fewer rights.
Toll’s behaviour is reprehensible. The transport giant is making a cruel attack on good, safe transport jobs.
The respect deserved by transport workers is clearly not on the minds of governments either.
While we implore Toll to fix their problems, none of it would be happening if the federal government had the right regulation in place to ensure transport supply chains are adequately funded by wealthy retailers, manufacturers and oil companies at the top.
As the pandemic continues, different border rules, vaccine calls, lack of testing and the fight to ensure truck stops remained open for showers and food are all contributing to our call for national leadership to provide certainty to operators and drivers to allow them to just get on with their jobs.
And then we have the chaos in NSW because Gladys Berejiklian did not consult transport workers over a permit system that in our view will wreak havoc across the state’s transport and freight industries as the rollout appears to have been handled as poorly as previous permits.
We can’t afford a situation where tens of thousands of transport workers are prevented from going to work because of a botched permit scheme or because they haven’t been able to get a vaccine appointment in time. If that happens it will be complete chaos across the whole industry.
Then there is Covid safety in yards, yards like those at FedEx where the TWU has lodged a formal complaint with both Comcare as the safety regulator, and SafeWork NSW over Fedex’s failure to adequately protect its workforce from a known Covid exposure.
Every day we are working with members, and union-trained health and safety representatives to ensure you are safe at work around Covid.
We are making sure that companies like FedEx have valid Covid Safety plans, Covid control measures and they are consulting with workers on Covid protection in their workplace.