December 22, 2021


We’ve made it to the end of another year and it’s no secret it has been an excruciatingly tough road. The 107 days of lockdown was an unprecedented time of hardship for all of us at the TWU, it meant as a union we were physically cut off from the yards. We were forced to connect and meet with our members online, all the while the companies’ wheels were in motion, churning record numbers of profits off the hard work in the yards. 

TWU Success

The TWU has once again achieved success, securing the future for all transport workers under these trying circumstances. 

We have had every major transport company come to the table and lock in job security and other workers’ rights with the TWU. The TWU has achieved a huge win for the members at FedEx, StarTrack, Toll, Global Express, Linfox, CEVA, and ACFS. Strong, united members have pulled together and brought this about. 

The merger with Virgin Independent Pilots’ Alliance has made it possible for all aviation workers to make sure their voices are more powerful than ever. Pilots face similar attacks on pay and conditions to other aviation members. We now use our collective strength to hold both Federal Government and companies to account on safety and standards right across the industry, along with our existing pilot members. The merger means the TWU will have a dedicated pilots’ division.   

Great strides

The TWU has made great strides bringing attention to the lack of regulation and safety in the gig economy, with the help of good people in the Parliament, Senator Tony Sheldon and NSW Shadow Transport Minister Daniel Mookhey. The likes of Amazon and Uber have consistently displayed their lack of responsibility and zero duty towards these workers. After five deaths in the span of two months last year there is now recognition by even the government that there is an absolute need for a better regulated industry. 

We also fought an historic court battle against Qantas over the dismissal of more than 2,000 ground handlers whose roles were outsourced. That was achieved, once again, by the tenacity of the members and the Union staff. A job well done by Mick Pieri, our Assistant State Secretary, Nick McIntosh, Assistant National Secretary, Organiser Ho Lau and National Secretary Michael Kaine. Everyone came together as a team, unified, strongly supported by our State Secretary, Richard Olsen.   


In trying times, we have had to re-invent the wheel on occasions. I’ve had the privilege to witness the men and women who work at the TWU. The extremely dedicated, passionate staff are always committed to members. I have seen Organisers, Team Leaders and our Leaders in elected roles coming face to face with repeated challenges and not quitting in the face of adversity. We know we are committed to our members. 

I hope over the holiday season you get the rest you need and I look forward to continuing the fight with you in 2022.

Tony Matthews,
TWU President


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