Transport company Rivet Mining Services (RMS) has collapsed following rising cost pressures, driver shortages and project delays, demonstrating again the urgency for reform to ensure supply chains are fair, safe and sustainable.
The TWU is working with administrators to ensure workers are prioritised throughout this administration process.
The collapse, which will affect 450 transport workers in WA, follows the folding of major cold chain logistics operator Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics which saw 1500 workers lose their jobs across the country.
A leading reason identified by administrators for the collapse of Scott’s was “uncommercial customer arrangements as a result of intense market competition”.
The common factor between the two is a result of tight margins and transport operators having no regulatory mechanism to recover rising costs from wealthy supply chain clients like retailers, manufacturers and mining companies.
The squeeze also causes pressure on operators and drivers to cut corners in safety to stay afloat. Just this week, two truck drivers were killed, adding to a total of 15 truckie deaths in 2023.
TWU National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh said wafer-thin margins are unsustainable for any business, but in transport they are the norm.
“We’re seeing hundreds of transport workers losing their jobs and supply chains plunged into chaos because operators are unable to survive the upsurge of operating costs like fuel, severe weather events, or project delays without regulatory support to recover those costs from wealthy clients.
“Driver shortages are the result of an industry in crisis. Truck driving used to be a career people were proud of, now it’s the cause of unrelenting stress and deadly pressure. Already this year, 56 people have been killed in truck crashes including 15 truck drivers.
“These devastating collapses are going to keep occurring until we have reform in place to ease the burden on operators and drivers struggling under the weight of squeezed contracts, rising costs and destructive competition.
“This year, Federal Parliament will have the opportunity to pass reform that will realign our essential transport industry and pull operators back from the brink. We urge them to pass this reform without hesitation,” he said.
Media contact: Pippa Hatton 0418 982 257