By now, the excitement from the New Year celebrations has well and truly evaporated and we continue getting on with the job. One of those jobs for the TWU is to call on the reasonably new Roads Minister in NSW, Natalie Ward to pick up where other roads ministers have not and address out-of-control toll road costs.
Our New Year’s resolution for the TWU is making 2022 a year of enforcement. We are making sure that those in power who can be part of the process of change for the transport industry don’t forget the lessons of 2020 and 2021. We cannot let them forget what we all know, the vital nature of transport, transport workers are the people that drive businesses forward.
It was 2019 and the TWU was amongst the voices who protested the removal of warning signs for mobile speed cameras. We recognised the move for what it was, a revenue raising process for the NSW Government.
It’s been one year since the NorthConnex tunnel opened on the major route in and out of the north of Sydney. Transurban Linkt are the proud parents of the tunnel, born from a deal made with the NSW government that leaves us in debt till 2048.
It is a hard day for transport workers, when two of the major transport companies across Australia, take on a hard stance against those who work for them.
The TWU has worked hard with members to build a range of in-principle enterprise agreements across major yards like those at Linfox, Toll, Ceva and Global Express.
Let me state the obvious. As I recently reminded the NSW Government at the Parliamentary Road Tolling Regimes Inquiry, toll road costs are an enormous issue across the road transport industry.
Transport workers have become directly responsible for shareholder and management happiness due to the ‘Christmas-level’ workload in many yards. They have kept parcels coming to people’s doors, they’ve kept retail shelves stocked. They have delivered essential goods and supplies across the country under unprecedented demand and pressure from those at the top of the supply chains.
The TWU knows that workers want to get on with their jobs, be paid fairly, be kept safe while they drive and need the federal government to set up a national plan that does not keep them guessing as to which border closes next, where they can get tested or where they can go if they choose to be vaccinated.
As this pandemic rolls on and as the top of the supply chain increases its profit from the increased freight load, we need to ask the question, why is the truck driver still copping a lack of respect from those at the top?