December 15, 2020

TWU News.
Summer 2020.

Editorial by TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen.

You’ll never walk alone 

We’ve come to the end of a year that threw everything it could at Transport Workers on the ground and in the air.  

I want to acknowledge the members who are doing it tough, those that have lost jobs or hours due to the Pandemic or due to employers who have chosen to reduce staff under the guise of the Pandemic. We are helping you where we can. 

It’s important for you to know that your Union is not increasing the cost of membership for 2021. We remain your voice in your workplace. The leadership of the TWU, Officials, our Members’ Service Centre and our Legal Team remain committed to provide you support to ensure that for each and every one of you, the transport industry remains safe and fair. 

The TWU is the voice that speaks out for the Transport Worker employee or contractor. We will remain the powerful voice calling out for the fair pay and conditions for your work, for safety at your workplace, and for those in transport failed by Governments.

The TWU is always with you and for you, you’ll never walk alone. 

It is also more important than ever to make sure that we all remain united as Transport Workers, from the smallest to the largest workplaces. We must continue having the conversations in yards that bring others to join our fight. This gives added strength in numbers to the work that must be done for a better future. 

For us all 2020 was a year that was like no other, what did not change was the need to ensure working people are protected from safety problems in a yard through to attacks on your rates and conditions of work. 

On the ground, at the start of the pandemic we set in place memorandums of understanding with the industry to hold the status quo, our ongoing discussions with companies mean we are now well placed to start the bargaining process for the many Enterprise Agreements due for change in 2021 both in freight and bus yards. 

We have held the industry and government to account. We fought for adequate rest areas for long distance drivers. We have tackled head on the greed of Transurban and the NSW Government as they leave us in debt for the future with the toll road rorts. We have brought the waste industry into line ensuring that drivers are paid properly for the critical work they do. 

Our bus industry members united in the face of Covid-19. They were on the frontline exposed to the risks of the Coronavirus and worked with the TWU to ensure that safety measures that protect both the public and drivers are in place on buses. It meant that work hours were not lost and lives were protected.

We took on the fight for $40 ensuring that in the light of companies like Amazon, Uber and Aussie Post bringing their exploitative workplace practices into the delivery industry, drivers now understand that rates can be better and you can be paid for every hour and every kilometre. 

Aviation has been hit hard by the Pandemic and we know the flow on affect this has for Australian communities. The Prime Minister and the Federal Government are asleep in the shade of the wings of grounded aircraft, while Cabin and Ground Crew face a bleak Christmas as they unnecessarily lose their jobs to the whims of corporate bullies with blood on their hands. This is serious and the TWU is not letting this fight go. 

As one member has said, “We need to stay together and work like a close family to ride through this together in real unity.” We know people are scared for their jobs and their safety, we also know that solidarity amongst Transport Workers is how we get through this chaos. 

My personal best wishes to you and your family for this Christmas season and all the very best for the new year in 2021. 


Stay safe
Richard Olsen,
State Secretary


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