By banning truck drivers from its toilets, change rooms and kitchens, Pacific National’s outrageous action is being broadly condemned by the trucking industry.
The Australian Trucking Association is insisting Pacific National must reverse its decision immediately and describes the decision as ‘outrageous’.
A statement put out by Pacific National says this, “As a further action to protect the health of our workforce and to control the risk of COVID-19 exposure, Pacific National hereby advises that, customer vehicle and truck drivers will no longer have access to amenities at Pacific National sites.”
Oddly, the statement tells us the ban will begin on February 9, but was published on April 8.
“We are all in the coronavirus epidemic together, and will only get through it together,” said Ben Maguire, ATA CEO. “The truck drivers arriving at Pacific National terminals may have been on the road for hours. They are a key part of the chain that links Pacific National to its customers.
“And yet Pacific National has forgotten this. They have forgotten that drivers are important. They have forgotten that drivers are human beings. The executives of Pacific National would be outraged if they were told they could no longer use the toilets in their offices or homes, if they are privileged enough to have a job where they can work remotely.
“And yet that’s what they’ve just done to the drivers who help them stay in business. Pacific National should wake up, read the Team Australia memo, and reverse this decision. Today.”
Ben said that Pacific National was the first company to be called out under the ATA’s Keep Them Open campaign.
“Through the campaign, we are working to keep roadhouses, truck stops and facilities at customers sites open across the country,” said Ben.
The statement from Pacific National does give those in the trucking industry an opportunity to vent their anger, it says,“If you have specific concerns, please address them to your Key Account Manager or Customer Service Centre representative.”
“We are really pleased on behalf of all the professional men and women who drive trucks in this country at how quickly this issue was resolved,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said. “This is a perfect example of why the community must remember the importance for truck drivers to be afforded what the rest of us expect on a daily basis. When we put out our call this morning to have the decision reversed, the ATA was immediately phoned by Pacific National executives who pledged to take immediate action.”
In a statement today, Pacific National Director of Corporate Affairs, Andrew Huckel, said:
“Pacific National has been in discussions with the Australian Trucking Association to arrive at solutions to provide suitable toilet facilities for truckies without risking the health of freight train crews and terminal operations in our depots. The issue has already been resolved at our key rail terminals in Melbourne and Perth through the provision of separated toilet facilities. Separated facilities will be introduced at other Pacific National facilities across the country by close of business today to maintain strict social distancing practices,”