If Labor is elected it is all over for tens of thousands of owner-drivers across Australia.

Bill Shorten has today sent a clear message to the tens of thousands of owner-drivers across Australia that if a Labor Government is elected, it will re-introduce the Road Safety Remuneration System, deliberately putting small business operators out of work.

Mr Shorten has today confirmed that he will acquiesce to the demands of the Transport Workers Union and re-establish the same ‘safe rates’ that nearly drove mum and dad small businesses across Australia to the wall in April. This extraordinary move only serves to further highlight how beholden Bill Shorten is to the union movement.

Mr Shorten’s commitment ignores the fact that there is no tangible evidence that demonstrates that there is any link to remuneration in the trucking industry and safety, and no evidence that owner drivers are less safe than employee truck drivers. The TWU’s entire basis for the RSRT was based on a falsehood, yet Mr Shorten unquestioningly adopts the TWU’s position.

This month the Coalition Government moved swiftly to introduce and pass legislation through the Parliament to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration System after it became apparent that the Tribunal’s Payment Order was forcing owner-drivers out of business – just as the TWU had always wanted. There was nothing safe and nothing fair and about the Road Safety Remuneration System.

Yet despite the overwhelming support for the abolition of the System, and in the face of desperate requests by owner-drivers for the Labor Party to see sense, Mr Shorten has again sided with the TWU and promised that he will oversee thousands of job losses and small business bankruptcies just to keep the union happy.

While union membership in Australia continues to decline rapidly, union influence over the Labor Party is increasing.

There is a significant risk to Australia’s national interest when policy positions adopted by the Labor Party are formed on the basis of whether a particular union boss considers them necessary to increase their power and membership.

The ALP’s opposition to the Australian Building and Construction Commission is not based on anything other than the CFMEU’s power over the Labor Party and the millions of dollars it provides to it.

As the both the RSRT and ABCC show, Bill Shorten’s position as a willing puppet of the union movement is to the profound detriment of the interests of hard working Australians.

Bill Shorten will always put the union bosses, rather than the Australian people, first.

The only way to ensure the viability of the trucking industry and to protect owner-drivers from economic devastation is to reject the Labor Party at the next election and in doing so ensure that the Road Safety Remuneration System remains confined to history.