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TWU stirring the pot, ignoring safety

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15 January 2019

The Australian Trucking Association is disappointed, but not surprised, by recent comments from the Transport Workers’ Union claiming the ATA is unwilling to work together in improving industry safety and viability. 

In the latest issue of Owner Driver magazine, TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine slams the ATA, claiming the association has no interest in increasing industry safety and sustainability. The comments follow a presentation Mr Kaine made to the ATA General Council in November 2018 about the TWU’s approach to road safety. 

ATA CEO Ben Maguire said he was disappointed, but not surprised, by the TWU’s approach. 

“At our council meeting, Michael Kaine admitted that he was deliberately ‘stirring the pot’ – his words – because there was no other way of achieving the results he wants. He said he would keep doing it,” Mr Maguire said. 

“It’s time for the TWU to stop the silly games and make a genuine attempt to work together as we are so willing to do. 

“There are many examples in the past six months where the ATA and TWU have worked together. We met with them twice in October and had the goodwill to invite them to speak at our November council meeting. 

“Prior to Christmas, I also attended the ALP National Conference and was eagerly invited by Senator Glenn Sterle to join the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal working group,” he said. 

Following the November council meeting, the ATA wrote to Mr Kaine, expressing interest in continuing discussions and working together to advance the industry’s safety. 

“He hasn’t bothered responding, because the TWU clearly doesn’t care about good process or the details of policy development. 

“It’s time for cool heads to prevail as we get serious about safety, our industry and its economic impact on our nation. Name calling and gamesmanship at these junctures are unhelpful to the greater cause,” Mr Maguire said. 

“The ATA is committed to improving safety and professionalism in the trucking industry and has achieved many important results over the years,” he said.