Government imposed remuneration orders have no place in NZ

Press Release – Road Transport Forum

Political parties in New Zealand must learn from the painful experience across the Tasman and rule out the imposition of remuneration orders on the road freight industry, says Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Ken Shirley.Media Release

18 April 2016

Government imposed remuneration orders have no place in NZ

Political parties in New Zealand must learn from the painful experience across the Tasman and rule out the imposition of remuneration orders on the road freight industry, says Road Transport Forum Chief Executive Ken Shirley.

A large convoy of trucks has converged on Canberra to protest the introduction of the latest remuneration order imposed on the Australian trucking industry.

“Road Safety Remuneration Orders, as they are called, are a blatant and cynical misuse of road safety as a Trojan Horse for the reintroduction of national awards,” says Shirley.

The Orders fix minimum remuneration and related conditions for Australian road transport drivers and are set by a government-established tribunal. The system is a product of a deal struck between the previous Australian Labor Government and the powerful Transport Workers Union.

“There is real anger amongst the Australian trucking industry as the burden of these remuneration orders threatens the livelihoods of thousands of Australian owner-drivers,” says Shirley.

“The link between remuneration and road safety is highly questionable and as a recent PWC report highlights, the system will result in a net cost to the Australian economy of more than A$2 billion over 15 years.”

The PWC report goes on to conclude that ‘the abolition of the system would result in significant net benefit to the economy and community at large.’

“It is therefore very concerning that the Labour Party here advocated for the same policy and campaigned on it during the last election.”

“National awards and government-imposed orders are not the way to lift industry wage rates or make the industry safer. All they do is saddle the industry with inflexible and time-consuming obligations and additional costs.”

“Let’s not repeat Australia’s mistake in New Zealand. It has been proven that national awards burden the economy and cost jobs and I hope that Labour and other political parties here will accept that reality and ditch the concept once and for all,” says Shirley.

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