September 26, 2022


It was fantastic to get back together at the 2022 Delegates’ Conference, fantastic to see delegates I do not often get to see. It reminds me of the great work everybody does in yards. It was a fantastic Conference.


Unfortunately Alan Joyce is in the headlines again for all the wrong reasons. He has received a 15% pay increase, now paid at $2.27 million. I am not sure how many Maserati motor cars or new apartments he can buy with what he has earned over the years but I want to remind him that it is in stark contrast to workers not being able to put food on the table, because of what he has done to the Aviation Industry. 

The TWU has proven in court that Qantas, under Alan Joyce, sacking workers, was wrong. We will continue the fight. 

There are companies that have benefited from over 2000 people being kicked out of Qantas. Some of them, like Swissport, are not so great in how they respect their workforce. With no disrespect to the people that are doing the job, it’s important to note that the actions of Qantas mean that they don’t have people around them who can share their over 25 years of experience in ground handling and fleet presentation. 

Companies have brand new workers and want to keep them on the award, or very little above it. The TWU will work to make sure the job is safer and better, like we have always done. We have Enterprise Agreements that we are putting in place in aviation. Some that have just been completed with great results, thanks to the great work of our TWU organisers at the Airport.

Dnata Ground Crew members received decent pay rises. It is what they deserved. At Gate Gourmet and Dnata Catering, we are working on their agreements. These are the workers that continued working through the pandemic, some that were not getting JobKeeper, so they had to work on minimum wages and still try to feed their families, probably doing more than one job if they could. 

We are looking forward to an airport that will be running at 110 percent. We are looking at an airport that needs to employ people on fair and decent wages, that’s safer for workers and every travelling person. We still have a casual workforce, with very little opportunity available to them but to get paid cheap wages without any job security. As I have always said, and now it is even worse, why have we casual and part time jobs at the airport? Why are we not providing full time work? If Companies want people to work, if they want to train them and keep them, first give them job security, which is full time jobs. It is not a big ask.


We have been able to complete an industry wide agreement after coming through the drama of the pandemic. Thank god for the bus drivers that kept the wheels turning, taking people where they needed to go. Many drivers for their great service were spat on, punched and worse from some passengers. The reality is that buses kept moving. How good are bus drivers!

We have gone through the fight; we have to make sure that we now maintain the rates and conditions that bus drivers deserve. We have an industry agreement now with standards, that are across the board. Our safety measures are now in place, now it is up to us all as a union and workers to make sure we maintain that as we go forward.

There are still many across the Government contracts driving shifts that do not have adequate time or places for meal and toilet breaks. There are too often, no chances to properly manage fatigue and personal needs whilst at work. 

My message to the NSW Government and Transport Minister; if you think we are going to sit back and allow that to continue then think again. We have just had our wins in a number of Enterprise Agreements; drivers are still under a lot of pressure. The TWU will be watching safety issues, and ensuring you take your responsibility to guarantee safety for all working on buses across NSW. 

We will be back and back again to ensure that you as the Government get it right. 

Mick Pieri • TWU Assistant Secretary & Sydney Central West Sub-branch


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