After reports of racist comments being made to multicultural truck drivers on trucking social media pages, as well as targeted attacks on vehicles, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have called on the trucking community to “celebrate the industry’s diversity and call out racism wherever it occurs”.
ATA Chair David Smith said freight workers from diverse backgrounds had always made a massive contribution to Australia.
“The cameleers of the 1800s, the workers on the Snowy after the war and the drivers from all over the world delivering food and essential medicine during this pandemic: they all deserve our respect, and all of today’s drivers deserve a fair go,” Mr Smith said.
“The ATA is aware that some multicultural drivers are being harassed, in particular those of Indian descent. Racists on social media are egging each other on to ever more extreme actions, including cutting air truck air lines.
“We all have a responsibility for calling out racism wherever it occurs, and that’s exactly what this is. Racism. It is ignorant. It is stupid. And it is dangerous.
“I pay tribute today to multicultural drivers who are courageously putting up with this unacceptable and disgusting harassment every day. As people in the trucking industry, we must all combat racism and stand up for fairness and safety.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said it was important that all heavy vehicle industry workers continue to support and respect each other.
“This year in particular, we’ve seen drivers, members of the supply chain, service centres and authorised officers work together through the challenges of the bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“That mateship and respect is important, now more than ever, to ensure we can continue to safely deliver essential goods and services across the country.
“Anyone who has concerns about safety in their workplace should report it through our Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785,” he said.