Safe Rates

Road transport is Australia’s deadliest industry.

When wealthy companies at the top of supply chains squeeze transport contracts, the rest of the supply chain is pressured to cut corners in safety. Transport workers are forced to work longer and harder to make ends meet. Far too many people are killed in truck crashes every year, while their families and communities are left devastated.

We’re fighting for a Safe Rates system that will lift standards for all transport workers, remove dangerous economic pressure, and ensure there is accountability at every level of the supply chain.

What does Safe Rates mean?

Safe Rates means the same pay for the same job, to ensure that wealthy retailers, manufacturers and oil companies at the top of the supply chain pay their fair share. It guarantees that every driver on our roads is behind the wheel of a well-maintained vehicle, won’t have to risk falling asleep on the job just to make a living, and isn’t trying to meet an impossible deadline.

But how does driver pay affect road safety outcomes?

Comprehensive and consistent research shows that economic pressure is overwhelmingly the biggest factor contributing to poor driver health and road safety outcomes.

A 2010 survey by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health came to this conclusion.

A 2008 report by the National Transport Commission in Australia did too.

In 2015, trucking employers, labour organisations and 25 international governments went one step further, signing a momentous, tripartite global consensus agreement at the International Labour Office in Geneva, which said that they all agreed on the facts: that low rates of pay for heavy vehicle drivers are linked to dangerous road safety outcomes.

Even the Turnbull Government’s own 2016 Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System found this – but despite their own findings, they still tore down the independent road safety watchdog.

One company that we have campaigned against is ALDI. This video explains how Safe Rates works.

Where can I read more?

In 2018, Monash University completed a landmark 12-year study, in partnership with TWU Australia, into the health and wellbeing of Australia’s truck drivers. It found that they have a 13 fold higher risk of dying at work than other Australian workers, making it among the most dangerous occupations in the country.

Many of problems identified by this study, such as economic pressure to cut corners, aren’t just isolated to truck drivers, but affect the entire industry.

Read the full report outcomes here.

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