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TWU mourns passing of titan Ian Smith

One of the Transport Workers’ Union’s most influential figures of the last 30 years has sadly passed away following a battle with cancer

The Transport Workers’ Union is mourning the passing of one of its most faithful servants, after it announced former President and SA/NT Branch Secretary Ian Smith had lost his battle with cancer.

Smith initially joined as a member of the TWU in 1994 as a driver at TNT, where he later became a delegate.

He went on to become lead delegate for the TWU in South Australia for the first national enterprise agreement at TNT.

Smith was Branch Secretary from 2017 until he stepped down from the position in May this year.

TWU SA/NT National Secretary Michael Kaine says the transport has been immeasurably changed by Smith’s contributions.

“TWU members and the broader transport industry would not be where they are today without Ian Smith,” Kaine says.

“For three decades, ‘Smithy’ dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the pursuit of a safer, fairer, better life for transport workers, their families and all who share the roads and the skies.

“Smithy was respected and loved by his members, the TWU National Committee of Management, and many across the union movement. Taking on the likes of Qantas, Uber, Amazon, and major retailers would not be possible without people like Ian insisting that transport workers deserve better.

“The TWU will always remember the commitment of Ian and the support of his loving family.”

TWU SA/NT Branch Secretary Sam McIntosh extended his condolences to Smith’s friends, family and colleagues.

““Ian will always be a giant of the TWU and transport industry. So many of our members knew Ian personally and saw firsthand how hard he worked every day.

“His contribution has been simply immense. His passion for our members and their families is second to none, and his vision for the TWU SA/NT branch always extended far beyond his own tenure.

“On behalf of the Branch Committee of Management, delegates and members, our thoughts and condolences go out to Ian’s wife Sue, daughter Maddie and his entire family. We will miss ‘Smithy’ terribly and are all the more determined to continue his legacy and make Ian proud.”

Some of Smith’s key achievements during his tenure with the TWU include:

  • Negotiating national enterprise agreements that have lifted thousands of transport workers to industry-leading rates of pay and 15 per cent superannuation.
  • Improving pay and safety across the Adelaide bus industry.
  • Defeating Qantas in the High Court over illegal outsourcing.
  • Getting Virgin Australia back in the air after administration.
  • Fighting for two decades and winning transport reform and world-first gig worker protections, which federal parliament passed earlier this year.

Read more ATN:
Mitchell Highway becoming safer for truckies
The rallying cry behind the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass project
Key Austroads survey closing soon

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