Unite 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, Unite warned as it launched its professional drivers’ charter.
The union 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.
“This deeply worrying situation is intolerable for many drivers,” Unite national officer Adrian Jones said. “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,” he added. “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.”
“HGV drivers are very highly trained. It’s a scandal that many are paid no more than the minimum wage,” said Cliff Henden, a professional driver for more than 50 years, and chair of the Unite Hire and Reward. “For the good of all Unite wants drivers to get the terms that truly reflect the crucial nature of their work.”