April 18, 2023

National Update: Time for transport reform

The start of 2023 could not have come with a stronger reminder that we must fight with everything we have to get transport reform through Federal Parliament. We wasted no time taking action, with national protests at Aldi stores across the country and a claim served on 40 wealthy retailers, manufacturers and agricultural companies. 

Hundreds of TWU members were devastated by the collapse of Australia’s largest cold chain logistics company, Scott’s. The good news is that the TWU was able to secure job opportunities for workers at other major operators like Global Express, Linfox, ACFS, Ron Finemore Transport and FBT Transwest. 

But this horrific ordeal should never have happened. Standard-setting reform would give all operators the regulatory protections to ensure transport contracts are fair, safe and sustainable. That’s why this year is our chance to reverse the crisis in our industry.

Our impressive Aldi protests in March were just the beginning.

Together, we will take rolling actions to keep the pressure on wealthy clients and the Federal Parliament, which will be asked to consider transport reform later this year. 

We need to see all members along with our families and friends out on streets at protests, convoys and actions. We know we’ll face opposition from wealthy clients who want to protect their mega-profits at all costs, so we need to be louder. 

This will be a huge year, with bargaining kicking off across many transport operators and aviation. We have shown great strength and unity over the last few years of bargaining, and we look forward to seeing the same discipline and togetherness over the coming months. 

Aviation has ramped right back up, and our strength and power across airports above and below the wing is growing with it. Demand is through the roof while companies recruit workers to fill the gaping holes left by illegal outsourcing, mass redundancies and stand-downs throughout the pandemic. As we welcome new workmates, we must welcome them into the union to maximise our capacity to rebuild good, secure aviation jobs. 

And this year the High Court will decide once and for all whether to uphold two Federal Court rulings that Qantas broke the law in sacking and outsourcing its entire ground and fleet presentation workforce. Our case has become even stronger since Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke intervened to remind the court of the protective intention of the Fair Work Act, which Qantas is attempting to dismantle. 

It will be another big year at the TWU, full of potential and lasting change if we all stand proud together and march on.



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