The past year has shown that transport workers are essential to our economy. Truck drivers and couriers have operated at a pandemic level of demand for over 12 months to keep our shelves stocked and retailers have reaped huge profits from their hard work. Bus Drivers remain on the frontline and are gearing up for their Enterprise Agreements and industry standards. Aviation workers continue to suffer an uncertain year of stand-downs, mass redundancies, outsourcing and numerous abuses from Qantas. The safety fight is on for Food delivery riders.
The TWU is taking a stand against the current NSW Government to ensure that all workers who will be prevented from working under the Berejiklian Government’s Public Health Orders will have an assurance that they will not be at risk of dismissal and that they will be able to access accrued leave entitlements while unable to work.
The Federal Government is yet to come to the table having failed to set up a national plan for Transport that would address border issues and make it easier for the freight load to keep moving while drivers who need it have better access to testing or vaccinations that they will need to access where they work.
We have taken Protected Action at Toll, and are preparing for similar action at StarTrack, FedEx, Linfox and Bevchain. I acknowledge the leadership of those members at Toll, who took a stand to say no to Toll’s attack on job security. Toll want members to accept an offer that has devalued their wages, they want to get in lower paid workers to do your job. Together we are seeking job security, a safer workplace, better superannuation and a commitment to better standards across the industry.
We are looking also for those binding standards to be set in Road Transport to lock in job security and abolish gig economy models that threaten the job security of current workers right across transport because of the actions and demands of companies like Amazon and Uber.
The pressure that this industry is placing on drivers and on their families is costing us dearly. We must make our voice loud, our fight strong and we must be the leaders to ensure a safer and fairer transport industry.
The TWU is serving claims on over 50 major retailers warning of their responsibility to ensure that they are paying transport operators enough to guarantee that their goods are being delivered safely.
I want to acknowledge the TWU Officials and Staff members working out of our Branch and Sub-Branch offices. Across the lockdown we have walked together in solidarity, ensuring TWU support to members through actions and negotiations across all sectors. Our Delegates and Members have maintained the strength of the TWU in their own yards, providing leadership to the industry that strengthens the future of Transport Workers in NSW.