Going on strike is no answer: ATA

Despite the hardships currently faced by the trucking industry, the proposed two-week shutdown from July 28 is not the answer, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) said.

ATA chairman Trevor Martyn said while trucking companies are in crisis due to the spiralling price of diesel, going on strike would not provide a solution to their difficulties.

“Many people in the trucking industry are now watching their life’s work collapse around them. But going on strike and standing around truck stops for two weeks isn’t the answer,” Mr Martyn said.

“The price of diesel is going up across the world because of China’s massive demand for fuel. Holding a two-week strike in Australia will have no effect on prices at all.”

He said instead of seeking an ineffective measure, trucking operators need to devise reasonable strategies by reviewing their costs on a weekly basis and negotiating with customers to lift freight rates.

“Some companies will need to increase their freight rates by more than 20 per cent,” he said.

“Most importantly, they need to refuse to accept jobs that do not pay enough to cover their costs.”

Mr Martyn added the introduction of new fatigue management laws in September is among the industry’s biggest concerns and called for a national uniform regulation to ward off inconsistencies.

He said: “The new laws will be an absolute fiasco, because the state and territory governments are out of control and have ignored the industry’s need for consistency across the state borders.

“The only solution is for the Australian Government to take over heavy vehicle regulation. The states have had their chance and failed. We need national regulation with strong involvement from the industry.”

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