Richard Olsen has been a member of the TWU since 1998. He jumped straight into organising, and in his first few years with the union he looked after the city and surrounding areas, encompassing a huge range of industries from freight to the waterfront.
This early experience meant that Richard could solve almost any issue or dispute that arose in a yard, a skill that came to be particularly handy when he oversaw 3,000 airport industry members from Qantas catering, domestic and international. It was during his first year as Airlines Official that Ansett Australia collapsed. From the first announcement of its collapse and for the months to follow, Richard was at Sydney Airport every single day, reassuring members that the TWU was fighting to win their entitlements – and he kept his word.
Richard also mobilised members and the wider community to successfully pressure then-Prime Minister John Howard to improve the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS). Richard became the South Coast and Southern Sub-branch Secretary in 2003, and in 2012 he also became TWU NSW Assistant State Secretary. Richard has been TWU NSW State Secretary since 2016.
Tony Matthews has been a member of the TWU since 1984, the same year he became an owner driver, working for Kwikasair. He became a TWU NSW delegate in the year 2000. Since day one he has been active in the fight for transparency and disclosure from companies who hire owner drivers, including in the fight for independent contractors under the Howard Government. He became TWU NSW President in 2019.
Assistant State Secretary
Sydney Sub-branch Secretary
Mick Pieri has been a member of the TWU since 1998. Following a stint as a customs agent at the airport, Mick began driving buses in 1980, before running a number of small businesses, including in the taxi industry.
He became a TWU NSW delegate in 1998 while working as a bus driver at Busways, and he became an Official in 2002. One of Mick’s highlights from this period was the successful campaign to have casual employees converted to full-time positions, which became a legal right in the bus industry. TWU members were not the only people to benefit from this campaign, as Mick also ensured that pensioner tickets became officially recognised as concession tickets by private companies.
Mick then moved to the airport, and looked after workers at numerous companies, including Qantas and Virgin. From 2007, Mick was given responsibility over the entire airlines industry, where he secured strong union agreements for members in long and tough fights, including the 2011 Qantas industrial dispute that saw CEO Alan Joyce ground the entire fleet. Mick became the Sydney and Central Sub-branch Secretary since 2012, and has been Assistant State Secretary since 2016.
Vice President – State
Jason Larfield became a member of the TWU in 2001, the same year he began doing B-double line haul work. He was a delegate at Finemores for 9 years, and today he remains a powerful voice for TWU members in the bush, including multiple stints campaigning in Canberra for Safe Rates on their behalf. He became TWU NSW Vice President – State in 2019.
ACT and Far South Coast Sub-branch Secretary
Klaus Pinkas has been a member of the TWU since 1985. Born and raised in Canberra, one of Klaus’ first jobs was as a garbo with Tiger Waste. He was heavily involved as a Delegate, and later became President of the ACT Sub-Branch Executive Committee. He became a TWU NSW official in 2004, and has been ACT and Far South Coast Sub-branch Secretary since 2009.
Newcastle and Northern Sub-Branch Secretary
Mick Forbes has been a member of the TWU since 1984, when he began working for Comet Transport in Newcastle. He took up an activist role as a co-Delegate in 1996, and became head Delegate in 2000. In 2002 Mick was elected a member of the Newcastle and Northern Sub-branch Executive Committee and from there was voted onto the Branch Committee of Management. Mick has been Newcastle and Northern Sub-branch Secretary since 2009.
South Coast and Southern Sub-Branch Secretary
Rob Pirc came on board as a TWU Official in 2006, organising in the ports industry and in yards from Sydney to Sutherland. He was instrumental in creating the Ports Committee, made up of TWU Delegates from all the major companies around the ports. Together they brought every single group of worker on to TWU agreements, and won many industry-wide changes to benefit the lives of ports workers. Rob was also involved in setting up the first TWU Agreements for Fed Ex, UPS and Wymap. After working as an Official for 10 years, Rob became the South Coast and Southern Sub-branch Secretary in 2016.
Branch Committee of Management (BCOM)
The TWU NSW Branch Committee of Management is comprised of workplace leaders and senior officials, democratically elected from across the transport industry. BCOM makes decisions about the direction of the union, our plans for the years ahead, and ensures the NSW Branch’s financial health.