Taking a stand

Editorial by TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen

Our members are telling me they have had enough.

Enough of the pressure of being asked to work harder for less pay. Enough of feeling attacked from every angle. Enough of employers and governments compromising safety and job security. Enough of Canberra pushing for the reduction of tax on corporations. (I have my doubts that that particular measure will make things any better for members or their families.)

The Transport Workers’ Union is taking a stand at all levels, from yards to parliaments, speaking up on behalf of members and ensuring that they will never walk alone. When it comes to agreements, industrial relations issues, or building strength in yards, we are there. And you, our members, are achieving great things and helping us to be stronger and united.

We are driven by members in what we do and we know that with your support we will continue to grow our membership. Members can lead in recruiting, organising and mobilising. Your involvement can be in your yard as a delegate or activist member.

Industry Sector Committees across a range of transport areas including ports, aviation, owner drivers, oil and gas, buses and waste underpin our strength. Delegates are working together to ensure we can negotiate for members across a whole industry rather than with individual employers.

The support from members on the Waste Industry Sector Committee has meant the TWU won protections for pay, conditions and jobs on behalf of members in contractor companies servicing Councils’ residential waste collection needs.

The fight was taken on and won on the Central Coast last year, and this year Randwick and Penrith City Councils have seen what member strength looks like. This is an ongoing fight and we hope that other councils are paying attention. The TWU will continue to fight for fairness in the waste transport industry.

We have a vision that we are working towards – we want to see a membership of the TWU across 70% of the transport industry by 2035. The plan begins with our aim to have a trained committee within each sector by 2020. We will continue to fire up delegates with ongoing training, enabling them to deliver for the rank and file members in their yards.

Our plan holds the top of the supply chain to account through our strength and good policy, ensuring the transport industry is safe and is providing transport workers with decent jobs.

We are working to ensure high standards for members in everything we do, including standardising rights across industries. It means ending the race to the bottom, which is causing pain among transport workers and their families, deaths on our roads and safety and security risks at our airports.

Vision 2035 will provide for working families and ensure fairness in our industry. By standing strong and united, we can achieve it.

Richard Olsen
TWU Secretary

Transport Workers' Union NSW
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