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UN body backs Safe Rates and demands governments protect driver and passenger rights against Uber

news 23 Oct 2015

One resolution focuses on safe and fair pay rates for transport workers as a way to protect them and other road users from death and injury. Employers, governments and trade unions agreed to develop an international code of practice which uses the Australian Safe Rates legislation as a model.

“Employers and governments around the world have committed to promoting safe rates of pay as a way to tackle road safety,” said ITF road transport workers’ section chair and Australian Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Tony Sheldon.

“Thousands of people die in truck-related crashes each year around the world. This is because low cost contracts by wealthy retailers and manufacturers are putting pressure on transport operators and drivers to speed, drive for longer than is allowed and overload vehicles. We must stop this carnage now and the way to do it is tackle the pressure from the top,” he added.

A second resolution demands that governments abide by international rules protecting passenger safety and drivers’ rights before considering allowing ride-sharing apps such as Uber to enter their markets.

“Uber does not have the adequate safety standards for passengers. It boasts about creating jobs – but what kind of jobs? They are jobs with no rights to sick leave, annual leave, maternity leave, retirement with dignity, minimum pay and with no protections against unfair dismissal,” said Sheldon.

Taxi drivers are seeing their already low wages diminish because of the unfair competition Uber is creating. Licence plate owners are seeing their investments worth nothing overnight. Meanwhile Uber sends profits off-shore, fights paying local taxes and refuses to install safety cameras which the taxi industry are required to have.

“This is about ensuring the public are safe and drivers have a decent wage. A company like Uber which is worth USD50 billion must be able to guarantee safety and rights.”


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