Truckers fight for safe rates with 275 pairs of shoes

Transport workers are delivering a stark warning on safety with a truck loaded with 275 pairs of shoes.

The Drive for Safe Rates campaign, organised by the ITF-affiliated Transport Workers’ Union (TWU), left Queensland and is travelling through New South Wales and Victoria before ending its journey in Adelaide.

On board the truck are 275 pairs of shoes, which represent the lives lost in heavy vehicle incidents in the 12 months to March 2008.

Last year the number of truck-related road deaths increased by about five per cent, while wages across the industry were pulled down by six per cent.

The TWU argues the high fatality rate was the result of the unfair wages and unreasonable deadlines imposed on the truck drivers by major retailers, forcing them to drive faster.

It says the National Transport Commission has committed to investigate the current remuneration system for truckers and make recommendations for reform.

Welcoming the move, TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said: “Drivers are crying out for a national system that gives drivers the ability to obtain a safe rate of pay and seek full cost recovery from the powerful transport clients like the major retailers to get relief from rising costs of living, rising costs of maintaining a safe truck and fuel spikes.”

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