NatRoad seeks answers to allegations against TWU on Sunday

By: Graham Gardiner


NatRoad has called for a State Government inquiry into damning allegations aired on the Sunday program about current and former

NatRoad has called for a State Government inquiry into damning allegations aired on the Sunday program about current and former Transport Workers Union (TWU) officials’ activities.

The story was reported by Ross Coulthart and follows on from a story aired late last year alleging the mishandling of $2 million by the union.

Chief Executive Bernie Belacic says NatRoad is aware of the allegations and some members have been directly affected by union tactics outlined on the program.

"These are serious allegations going to the heart of the TWU’s activities in NSW amongst the road transport industry," he says.

The program alleged that a significant quantity of money was and is still being obtained by the TWU from employers for the purposes of a union-administered "training fund". The allegations imply that some employers are paying protection money.

Belacic says that while NatRoad does not support this practice on behalf of its members, it does understand that commercially there may well be no alternative.

This week NatRoad has written to NSW Premier Morris Iemma and Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard seeking their direct intervention.

"Until now these activities have occurred under a veil of secrecy and concern resulting from retribution by the TWU. It is fact that unions in NSW enjoy unprecedented levels of access to employer premises under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000 and the Industrial Relations Act," he says.

"The level of access and broad-ranging powers provided to union officials is one of the primary concerns by those affected from coming forward.

NatRoad seeks intervention by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to fully and properly investigate these allegations, including the use of powers by the TWU under the NSW OHS Act 2000 and Industrial Relations Act.

"Should appropriate safe guards for individual identities be in place we are sure government would receive wide level support and cooperation by numerous affected employers."

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