At the end of each year, we reflect on our collective wins and there are always countless – but this year will be hard to top.
We beat Qantas in a historic High Court case over the illegal mass sacking of 1700 workers. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Chair Richard Goyder each announced their early ‘retirement’ – which is code for ‘leaving in disgrace’. Even shareholders turned on Qantas management, with a staggering 83% vote against executive pay.
Apologising has become common practice at Qantas. It’s the result of aviation workers never ceasing to call out the destructive business model to splinter the workforce, illegally outsource and erode standards.
Joyce regime toppled
Thanks to TWU members, the Joyce regime has been toppled and aviation has a much greater chance of rebuilding good, secure jobs.
Road transport reform – our reform – has been tabled in parliament to be voted on in early 2024. If, or when, this is passed into law, all road transport members will benefit from better, more secure jobs.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about this huge TWU win, is that the reform has broad support from right across the industry. The likes of Uber, DoorDash and Menulog, major transport operators, employer associations, and wealthy retail clients Woolworths and Coles have all backed in the system. Essentially, they’re backing regulation of themselves to better pay their workers.
Of course, we know it isn’t actually remarkable – or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s the result of literally decades of relentless campaigning from TWU members to hold to account bad actors, celebrate those doing the right thing, and demonstrate that a level playing field of safe, fair standards benefits the entire industry and makes our roads safer.
TWU members have stepped up the pressure for reform over the last year. We’ve held national convoys, taken several delegations to Parliament, achieved commitments from major operators during bargaining, held vigils for the truck drivers and gig workers we’ve lost, shared personal stories, and launched an international Safe Rates campaign supported by more than 50 transport unions around the world.
Amid all of this, TWU members have achieved huge wins in bargaining, made workplaces safer, and addressed local issues through our outstanding delegates. We’ve worked together across work groups – like ground crew, cabin crew and pilots at Virgin serving a claim on Bain Capital and all bargaining at the same time with a common goal to lift pay and conditions.
The TWU is unique. We don’t separate ourselves across sites, states, work groups or employers. We know that meaningful change comes from our strength as one powerful force. That’s how we win.
Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable festive season as you keep our country moving.
National Secretary Michael Kaine