The National Road Freighters Association (NRFA) and the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) have joined forces to focus their efforts on achieving an industry that is safe and sustainable.
An agreement has been signed by both parties so they can work together on issues that are of interest, while still remaining independent and representing their own members.
According to TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine and NFRA President Gordon MacKinlay, the agreement to co-operate was based on a lack of action towards the difficulties drivers and operators face in getting a fair rate.
“For far too long our industry has had to endure a dog-eat-dog way of doing business where all the pressure of compliance is pushed right down to the driver, subcontractor and operator at the bottom and most of the profit goes to the major retailers and manufacturers at the top which contract out transport work at continually lower rates. This is neither safe nor sustainable and the TWU is happy to join forces with the NRFA to change this,” says Kaine.
MacKinlay adds that transport businesses want to be paid what they are worth, not what people feel like paying them. “The financial pressure on our trucking companies is real and is making it very difficult for businesses to survive in a safe and long-term way. We want to see change and we want standards to be lifted. Working with the TWU means co-operating on issues that matter to us and using our collective voices to tell those in positions of power that now is the time for reform,” he says.
The TWU and NRFA recently demonstrated their unified position, following an ACCC attack on an owner driver, threatened with jail for an opinion article about low rates. They wrote a joint letter to the ACCC outlining the problems with low rates and requesting a response on the regulator’s over-reach, however the ACCC failed to provide an adequate response.