Looking back on 2018
Editorial by TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen
What a year it’s been.
We welcomed many new members and even entirely new yards, like cabin crew at our airports, bus drivers in Region Six, and taxi drivers.
We saw great wins across all the sectors – in trucking, buses, cash-in-transit, waste, the ports, owner drivers, aviation. From the biggest Majors to the smallest yards, it was an incredible year to be union. We secured strong agreements, ensured safer yards, and fought the bosses as hard as was needed. In the case of a few high profile disputes, like the industrial action at Busways, we even took the fight direct to the public and they overwhelmingly showed their support for transport workers.
We continued to put pressure on the Government for Safe Rates legislation, in recognition of the proven link between fair pay for heavy vehicle drivers and safe roads for everyone. We made a lot of noise in our Convoy for Safe Rates, with hundreds of trucks coming together into the Sydney CBD, blaring horns and bearing signs and demanding to be heard.
Every other TWU state branch held their own convoys on that date, but I’m proud to say NSW was by far the biggest – and definitely the loudest.
We’ve had great legal wins, supported by the tirelessly hard work of the Members’ Service Centre and officials. In more than 100 unfair dismissal cases, including 10 for owner drivers, every single case had a positive outcome. More than 80 Enterprise Agreements for employees (and Contract Determinations for owner drivers) have been registered. Our agreements were enforced in more than 50 disputes at both the Fair Work Commission and the Industrial Relations Commission for employees and owner drivers, and we have seen more than 20 successful Protected Action Ballots.
Our legal team has also assisted us in making submissions and giving evidence to three NSW Parliamentary Inquiries, which helps transport workers have a stronger voice in Parliament.
But, most importantly, there is you. A union is absolutely nothing without its members, and we could never have achieved a single thing this year if it weren’t for you. Thank you, truly, for your incredible work this year.
I wish you a healthy and happy holiday season, and a marvellous New Year. Here’s to even bigger and better things in 2019.