TWU slams trucking company over ‘disgraceful’ response to Worker death

Transport Workers' Union

TWU is criticising Lindsay Transport for an inadequate response to the death of one of its workers six years ago.

Safe Work NSW has released information about undertakings it has forced Lindsay to comply with, including developing a safety app, following the fatality in October 2015 in Western Sydney.

But the TWU says a substandard workplace agreement and the death of another driver three years ago, who was left dead for 10 hours on the underpass of a Brisbane motorway without the company even knowing he was missing, shows Lindsay has not changed its attitude to safety.

The Fair Work Commission has raised a number of concerns about rates and conditions in the Lindsay enterprise agreement not meeting the minimum standards. Pay and safety for truck drivers have been scientifically linked through decades of research.

TWU Assistant National Secretary Nick McIntosh said Lindsay must start taking driver safety seriously.

“This is a disgraceful response to the death of a driver. A phone app showing drivers how to get in and out of a truck isn’t going to fix the problems in Lindsay Transport. In a separate fatality, Lindsay didn’t even know one of its drivers was lying dead in his truck on the underpass of the Logan Motorway for 10 hours. This is a company which has been refusing to put in place an enterprise agreement to ensure drivers are paid a fair, safe rate,” he said.

“Lindsay is a perfect example as to why we need an independent tribunal to investigate the risks to safety in road transport. Here we have Safe Work NSW trying to wrangle with Lindsay on one level, meanwhile the TWU is trying to wrangle with them through the Fair Work Commission on pay and conditions which go to the heart of safety. There is no regulator looking at all of these issues and determining a solution in the form of a federally binding order. As a result, trucking remains Australia’s deadliest industry and far too many other road users are killed along with them,” he said.

“As per usual the Federal Government is nowhere to be seen and is refusing to engage to protect drivers at work. Companies like Lindsay and the wealthy retailers, manufacturers and oil companies which hire them to transport their goods are let off the hook while the families of truck drivers are left to pick up the pieces,” McIntosh said.

Transport is Australia’s deadliest industry. In the last five years, 885 people have died in truck crashes, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. In the same period, 183 transport workers have died on the job, the highest by far for any industry, according to Safe Work Australia.

The TWU announced action in the coming months against some of the biggest global retailers Amazon, Apple and Aldi in a bid to make trucking safer and fairer.

The union has served claims on over 50 major retailers warning of their responsibility to ensure that they are paying transport operators enough to guarantee that their goods are being delivered safely. The plan for action and protests comes as enterprise agreements for thousands of transport workers expire in the coming months, with operators already revealing they can’t meet modest pay claims because of the squeeze by retailers.

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