ALL ABOARD: TWU activists about to get on the bus taking them on a protest trip down the coast this week. The activists protested outside Coles.
ALL ABOARD: TWU activists about to get on the bus taking them on a protest trip down the coast this week. The activists protested outside Coles.

Transport workers warn unsafe driving a cause for concern

A UNION representing truck drivers is taking its protest against unsafe driving practices to the streets.

Yesterday Transport Workers' Union activists protesting against the high death toll in trucking visited Grafton on their way to a union conference in Sydney.

The group will hold protests throughout northern NSW in particular, pointing the finger at wealthy retailers. The union is protesting against practices like "sweating" truckies - forcing them to drive beyond safe fatigue levels.

The squeeze on transport by wealthy retailers was highlighted in a recent survey by Safe Work Australia which showed 20% of transport industry employers break safety rules to meet deadlines - this compares with just 6% in other industries.

"Major retailers like Coles are squeezing transport companies and drivers by continually driving down transport costs. This leads to around 330 deaths a year in truck related crashes and thousands of injuries. It is the reason why trucking is Australia's deadliest profession with truck drivers 15 times more likely to die than any other profession," said TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon.

Coles is campaigning against road safety watchdog, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. The TWU said Coles - which it was announced last week has revenues of $38 billion - had donated $2.1 million to the Liberal Party, which has signalled its plan to scrap the tribunal.



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