Reflecting on highlights

TAKING A STAND: Wayne Forno and 600 TWU members block James Ruse Dr in Sydney during the campaign for Safe Rates.
TAKING A STAND: Wayne Forno and 600 TWU members block James Ruse Dr in Sydney during the campaign for Safe Rates. Contributed

AS YOU may know, I've decided its time to hang up the boots and retire from my position as TWU NSW secretary.

It's with great pride that I look back on some of the things achieved during more than 21 years working to improve the lives of transport workers in NSW and the ACT.

In my time as a TWU organiser, my responsibilities included the milk, fuel, bus and waste industries and I was a senior negotiator for Linfox, Toll, Westgate and StarTrack before I moved into the leadership team.

Along the way we had many important wins including:

  •  A 15% fair wage claim for truckies in 1994;
  •  A multi-million dollar payout in 2006 for our Tooheys drivers, instead of a pay cut;
  •  Chapter 6 protections for owner-drivers;
  • Safe Rates legislation passed by the Gillard Government in 2012;
  •  Truckies officially recognised as professional drivers in 2009; and,
  •  Providing journey cover for all financial TWU members after NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell took the axe to the workers compensation system.

The Safe Rates legislation is one of the best of its kind in the world and if there's one thing we should never give ground on, then Safe Rates is it.

Throughout these great wins what kept getting reinforced to me is that unions are simply about people standing together to be stronger.

Whether it's a fight with a crooked boss, a cynical government, an unfair law or even a politically motivated royal commission, if enough people stand together and say no, nothing and nobody can beat them.

Finally, I'd like to pledge my support for Michael Aird as my successor as secretary and for Richard Olsen as assistant secretary.

Michael and Richard have demonstrated over many years that they're the right people to be leading the TWU NSW forward.

I plan to take great pleasure in following the fortunes of the TWU and our members from the comforts of retirement.

I wish you all the very best for the years ahead.

Topics:  twu news wayne forno

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