THE FIGHT CONTINUES: MEMBERS TAKE STRONG ACTION IN THE FIGHT FOR A FAIR GO
Editorial by TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen
It’s been an action packed start to 2017 at the TWU, members have been strong in their support of a range of campaigns!
As we go to press, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission has just approved a new and modern General Carriers Contract Determination. A more thorough explanation will follow in upcoming owner-driver meetings and in the next version of TWU News.
One highlight is that there will be an expansion of the coverage of the Determination for the first time since its creation in 1984. A 2.5% rate increase will also come into force on 15 April 2017. My congratulations to all owner-drivers who have been fighting for this modernisation for a number of years.
Our members at bus company Transit Systems had enough of not receiving a pay rise for nearly three years, with the company holding $1 million of taxpayer money meant for their wages. Members decided to take matters into their own hands by engaging in protected industrial action. As we go to press with TWU NEWS, the company finally agreed to negotiate in good faith and we are hopeful that members will soon have achieved a great outcome.
Our members’ battle with waste company Remondis and the Central Coast Council continues, with members taking up the fight with a series of 24 hour stoppages. Remondis have no interest in resolving the situation and Central Coast Council continue to refuse to guarantee their jobs and wages beyond next year. We are now campaigning for the Local Government Minister to intervene on behalf of our members to ensure their ongoing job security and wages.
Our members at our majors yards – Toll, Linfox, TNT and Ceva (with Star Track delegates participating in interstate negotiations) have been gearing up as they prepare to negotiate agreements with their companies throughout the year. Our members know that these negotiations will be tough as these companies have all indicated they are not prepared to offer any wage increases and in fact want to wind back conditions.
The Fair Work Commission recently handed down a shocking decision cutting the penalty rates of workers in the retail and hospitality industries. I am not surprised that Prime Minister Turnbull has thrown his support behind this decision and I’m heartened that Labor has committed to legislating penalty rates into law. Rest assured once penalty rates are lost in one industry everyone is at risk. We need to join with all unions to fight for and protect our penalty rates.
I look forward to continuing to fight alongside you across the second quarter of this year.