Britain’s largest union is calling for a fair deal for HGV drivers amid warnings they are being forced to put themselves and the public at risk by working more than a whopping 60 hours a week.
Low pay and rising demands from employers to do more increase the chances of serious accidents on the roads, the union warned as it launched its professional drivers’ charter.
As Britain’s biggest road transport union Unite is demanding change, calling for a maximum 48-hour working week and an end to minimum wage pay for professional drivers who keep the country moving.
The union will be urging haulage firms to sign up to the charter to halt the race to the bottom on Britain’s roads.
Adrian Jones, Unite national officer said: “This deeply worrying situation is intolerable for many drivers. The public needs to know what’s going on because lives are being put at risk.
“Low pay rates mean drivers are being forced to take chances, working long hours just to make ends meet. Accidents are quite literally waiting to happen because employers are refusing to play fair. We need minimum standards across the industry to end the race to the bottom and keep Britain’s roads safe.”
Cliff Henden, a professional driver for more than 50 years, and chair of the Unite Hire and Reward section said: “HGV drivers are very highly trained. It’s a scandal that many are paid no more than the minimum wage. For the good of all Unite wants drivers to get the terms that truly reflect the crucial nature of their work.”
For further information contact Douglas Beattie in the Unite Press Office on 020 3371 2060 or Alex Flynn on 07967 665 869.
Download a copy of the Unite drivers’ charter.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.