READY FOR the challenge

Editorial by TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen

We did what we needed to do. Our Safe Rates Convoy in March made a mess out of the City of Sydney and the Sydney Harbour Bridge because we needed to make the point, our industry is still in crisis. The NSW TWU is ensuring that the Federal and State Governments know that they need to act, and act urgently over this huge mess we find ourselves in.

Over 530 people have died on our roads as a result of a heavy vehicle accident since the federal watch dog was disassembled and massacred by the Federal Government. This is a national shame and those that should be sharing the responsibility for the lives of our members, are blatantly ignoring the problem.

We want safer roads for our members, and all users of the roads. We believe in the need for enforcement of the shared responsibility for road safety. Drivers must not to be pushed by their bosses to climb into trucks that are not fit for the road. We want to see that heavy vehicles get maintained, we want to see that drivers are not under unnecessary pressure to get the job done.

We need a safer and fairer industry across all our sectors, in the aviation sector where over 90% of the workforce is now part-time or casual with the majority of workers only guaranteed 20-25 hours per week; in cash in transit where drivers are fighting for a safer workplace in light of recent armed holdups; in the courier sector where the need for job security and the correct rate of pay is paramount.

The TWU is daily confronting the issues alongside our delegates and members. The risks that members endure every day on our roads, in our airports and generally across the industry is a matter of great importance.

There is new leadership in the union. I welcome Tony Matthews as our President and together we will work towards influencing the establishment of a safer and fairer transport industry across NSW and Australia. It’s important to everyone, and in particular important to our kids who are wanting their mums and dads to come home safely at the end of their shift. That’s what we are about.

The Union has moved to our new premises at Minchinbury where we look forward to providing a benefit to all current and future members across NSW. Our building is placed in an area of new growth with the new second Sydney airport opening almost just down the road. From here we can easily reach out to all yards across the state, from the waterfront to the inland. We have a huge area at Minchinbury including a new and larger training area. I look forward to seeing a consistent flow of delegates and members and HSRs being trained up to deliver what members need.

We are ready to take up the challenge for the next decade and beyond.

Richard Olsen
TWU Secretary

Transport Workers' Union NSW