Reports today that yet another former official of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has come forward to tell the truth about the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) should now spell the end for Labor and the union’s defence of the indefensible.
Michael Wong, who worked for the TWU from 2009 to 2012 and who helped deliver the political campaign for the establishment of the RSRT today provided the following remarkable insight into the TWU’s mindset and priorities;
‘‘Fundamentally the union doesn’t care about owner-drivers, it cares about its income and the political power it can achieve. The practical effect of the RSRT is to push owner-drivers out of the market.”
This is the now the second former employee of the TWU to blow the whistle on the true motivations of the union and the agenda behind the establishment of the deeply flawed RSRT.
In 2013, another former TWU employee, Seth Tenkate also rebuked the TWU’s justification for the RSRT by revealing the Payment Order will not improve safety on roads and is instead economic re-regulation.
Mr Tenkate, who also worked on the lobbying campaign to introduce the RSRT admitted there was;
“…barely a specific case study where a death is involved to support [the link between rates of pay and safety] ".
Labor and the Greens must now come clean and tell the truth about the RSRT, just as these former TWU employees have done.
“The game is now up for the TWU and the Labor Members of Parliament who support the now discredited RSRT,” Minister Michaelia Cash said today.
“The entire basis of the TWU’s justification for the RSRT was always deeply flawed. We now have former TWU employees explicitly saying that the RSRT had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with bolstering the union’s powerbase.”
The Government yesterday announced that if the Turnbull Government is re-elected it abolish the RSRT. This comes on top of the commitment last week to introduce legislation into the Parliament to delay the RSRT Payment Order until 1 January 2017 to protect the livelihoods of thousands of owner-drivers across Australia.
“Next week the government will present to the Parliament a proposal that is achievable and will have the effect of protecting owner-drivers whose livelihoods are set to be decimated by this Payment Order remaining in place,” Minister Cash said.
“It is important that the Government puts forward legislation that can be delivered and delivered quickly by the current Parliament. At present we are confident that there will be sufficient support in the Senate for a delay of the Payment Order.”
“Ensuring we improve safety outcomes is absolutely vital and that is why we also announced yesterday that savings achieved from the abolition of the RSRT will be redirected to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) - the body that can actually deliver real and tangible road safety outcomes in the trucking industry.”
“Unions and politicians who use safety to dishonestly pursue an industrial agenda do themselves no favours and we ask that they act in a way that results in better outcomes for everyone who relies on the road transport industry, not just one union.”