September 26, 2022

DELEGATES' CONFERENCE: Making the Industrial Political

The TWU has many advocates in Parliament and we welcomed some of them to our Delegates Conference. 

Here is some of what they had to say. 

Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader 

We are all aware of the important work that the TWU is doing with their safe rates campaign and understand the connection between pay and safety in the transport industry. 

We would welcome to work with them to reform any dangers that the TWU members face on the roads every day. 

As the leader of the NSW Labor I feel intense and personal responsibility for workplace safety. 

For 130 years the Labor Party, and indeed the labour movement, have fought for safety and dignity in the workplace. 

Responsibility for this fight must carry on and the responsibility now sits with me and my parliamentary colleagues. 

Richard Marles, Deputy Prime Minister

I’m so grateful for the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia. This is the place where I got my start. I can remember as the Federal Legal Officer for the TWU coming to Sydney, meeting Steve Hutchins the then Secretary of the Branch, I felt like I was part of a cause, and I was, and I still am today. I am still a member of the Transport Workers Union today and I will be till I die. 

All of you are engaged in a cause, which is so much bigger than yourselves. It is about making the lives of working people, transport workers and their families, so much better. In doing that, it is about imagining the kind of nation, which those who imagined our country, thought it would be – a place that would be underpinned by an idea of egalitarianism. That is given expression, in reality, by the work that you do. 

Tony Burke, Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations

I’m working to modernise our workplace laws, based on three key principles; secure jobs, better pay and a fairer system. In addition, there’s three ways we are working to fix this. We are taking action to provide structure to support our lowest paid workers. 

We have to close those loopholes that allow wages and conditions to go backwards. We acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons where there will always be casual work. There will always be labour hire of some sort. There will always be some fixed term contracts. There is a place for technology and the platforms.

What we won’t tolerate are the rorts and abuses of these forms of employment. We will close the loopholes which allow wages and conditions to be undercut. The recent world leading agreement between the TWU and Uber is an extraordinary step in the right direction. I want to congratulate the TWU, you are defending the workers. 


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