Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) rank and file yesterday stood with their TWU comrades in a display of solidarity, campaigning for major retailers to stop neglecting safety issues and begin to take their responsibilities to truck drivers and road users seriously.
Conducting a flash mob performance of "The Safety Dance" outside Coles Pyrmont Store in central Sydney the TWU had full backing and support from the MUA and other affiliated unions attending the ACTU Congress this week.
TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon commented, "We are here today to tell Coles it is time they stopped dancing around safety and begin to take their responsibilities to truckies and every road user seriously."
"Major retailers are responsible for 32% of the entire retail transport task. That's almost one in every three trucks on our roads working for Coles and other major retailers."
"This enormous economic power enables Coles and other major retailers them to dictate to truckies and transport companies on price, delivery schedules and delivery windows."
"The safety crisis on our roads, as a result of pressures on truckies, is all too visible. An average of 330 people are killed on our roads each year in truck crashes and more than 5300 are injured."
"Truck driving is Australia's most dangerous industry with a death rate more than 10 times the industrial average. Recent Safe Work Australia figures show that one in every three workplace fatalities are in trucking." added Mr Sheldon.
MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said "This has to end. Coles and other major retailers must stop squeezing truck drivers, they must ensure they get a fair wage and are not pressured to meet impossible deadlines,"
"I speak for both the MUA and ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) when I say that we are 100% behind the TWU and will help in any way that we can with this campaign."