New Beginnings For A Strong Future
Editorial by TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen
In this, our historic union’s 130th year, we are making plans for the future. At the start of August we broke the soil on our new office in Minchinbury, which will be the NSW Branch headquarters from 2019. The new building in the new location will allow us to provide for the changing needs of our members and the transport industry for the next 30 years. As the city of Parramatta grows and changes around our current office, accessibility has become a bigger issue for visiting members. The new building will have ample on-site parking, is easy to get to from major transport routes, and will be easier to reach for a greater number of members from where they work, including the Minchinbury and Eastern Creek transport hubs, the airport and ports on the eastern seaboard, Western Sydney bus depots, and Badgerys Creek where the new airport will be. I’m thrilled that we are entering this new chapter as an ever-growing union.
Driving Forward On Safety
Our Convoy For Safe Rates in Sydney on July 15 was a success. We took to the streets, loud and proud, and brought our message not just to NSW Parliament and the Fair Work Commission, but to every news bulletin across the state. Time and time again, the need for accountability across the entire supply chain and the setting of safe rates has been proven to lead to safer roads with fewer accidents, and it is shameful that in 2018 we’re still having to campaign for it. If we have any hope for a safe future on our roads, we need those in power to act now.
As I write this, there has been yet another a spate of truck crashes and truck fatalities across NSW. More people who will never make it home to their families, more communities ripped apart. Still the Federal Government and organisations like NatRoad refuse to engage with the facts. They have blood on their hands.
So too does the NSW Government. It’s not enough to wait for the Federal Government to act, because in NSW the number of truck-related deaths is far higher than any other state. We need urgent state-based policy to address this emergency on our roads, but NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey refuses to come to the table with us and do what needs to be done. Yet more shocking inaction from a shocking roads minister.
Putting Dodgy Practices In The Bin
I was recently glad to have the opportunity to speak to Ray Hadley on 2GB about dodgy and dangerous practices affecting garbos at United Resource Management and Suez. After a fatal accident earlier in the year, URM’s Dee Why depot was raided. Police and the RMS found that 25 vehicles had non-compliant speed limiters, 23 had minor defects, and two trucks were grounded. A further 70 URM trucks were later inspected after a rollover near Lane Cove, and 46 of these were found to have minor defects, while four were grounded due to major defects and 14 fines were issued. Part of the deal on council tenders is that URM must get new trucks, but many garbos have reported that they simply buy secondhand trucks and repaint them. It’s devious, it’s dangerous, and it’s a disgrace. Additionally, more than 50 Labour Power workers at Suez reported their casual loading rates going unpaid for more than a year. We took this to the company and they committed to us that they would pick up the bill.
Welcoming Our Newest Members
We welcome new bus members to our union, with the recent privatisation of Region 6 to Transit Systems (TSA). The Transport Workers’ Union is the union for buses, and we in NSW have always led the way on bus issues, forging new ground and showing leadership on the issues that matter to bus drivers. We have the experience and the credibility to do the work that needs to be done, and we look forward to doing it for members in Region 6.