Our major win this year is an announcement from the Federal Government. Tony Burke, the Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations who attended the 2022 Delegates Conference has told the TWU of the Government’s plan to empower the Fair Work Commission to set fair standards for the entire transport industry. It is a major triumph for the TWU members who took part in lobbying, drove in the Sydney to Canberra convoy and built membership strength in our yards. Members can be proud they took part in a process that will allow a level playing field for the industry.
The TWU has ensured that the pressures caused by the cost of living increases have had some relief, through our win in the industrial courts of a fuel levy now added to the General Carriers Contract Determination. The TWU will continue to provide a powerful voice on behalf of our owner-driver members because for them the madness continues around the financial chokehold caused by ever-increasing on-road operating costs.
In January, toll road costs will increase again and still there is near to no response from the NSW Government who have a deal with Transurban that rips off drivers every day. Toll roads remain government-sanctioned highway robbery. Under the agreement with the current NSW Government, Transurban price increases on our toll roads have become just as much a part of Sydney’s New Year ritual as the fireworks on the Harbour Bridge.
As 2023 rolls in, the TWU will continue to take the issues to those in power on behalf of all transport workers. We cannot let them forget the vital nature of transport and the workers in our industry.
In NSW, we are looking at a State Election in March, and you can be assured that the TWU is at the front of the line, reminding those who want to be in Government after March of the critical nature of the work you do. This fight includes calls for the NSW Government, as economic employers, to provide better rest areas for the road freight and bus industries. We will maintain the call for the development of infrastructure that means safer NSW roads. We will always seek your input so that you remain a significant part of the fight for a safer and fairer transport industry.
As we enter the New Year, tell those in your yards who are not yet members why it’s important to be part of the Union with the strength in the transport industry. Involve yourself and those in your yard to help us maintain the campaigns we have started and build the ones yet to come. We need everyone on board to secure the future for transport workers. The TWU is looking forward to 2023 as a year to continue the fight for reform that sees every driver get home safely and properly remunerated.
All the very best this Christmas to you and your family, and I wish you a happy and secure future for the New Year.