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TWU National Council to push for pay and safety reforms

The national summit will include a strike and a major gig economy announcement

Transport workers, union leaders and politicians will gather in Hobart this week for the annual Transport Workers’ Union National Council, which will focus on regulating industry-wide standards and safety in the industry.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine and newly elected national president and Vic/ Tas secretary Mick McNess will lead the four-day event that aims to make key decisions about reforms to tackle deadly conditions in road transport and the gig economy.

Union leader Michael Kaine is set to make a major announcement in his keynote address on Tuesday as the council focuses on protecting the rights of transport gig workers.

On Thursday morning TWU members and official will protest at Hobart’s Parliament House over government inaction on truck regulations to make the industry safer and more sustainable.

Shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke will also address the council on Thursday, followed by senator Tony Sheldon.

“Over the past year Australia has suffered the consequences of government inaction on transport supply chains,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine says.

“Every year the Australian public suffers the loss of hundreds of people in preventable truck cashes. We are in the depths of a cost-of-living crisis, exacerbated in transport by the Amazon Effect of deadly cost-cutting from the top while good, safe jobs are undercut by gig-style exploitation.”

Kaine says the industry has never been in greater need of reform to ensure workers are protected and maintain rights to work safely.

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“The council is pleased to meet in Hobart this year in a territory that relies heavily on transport imports and exports for its survival,” Kaine says.

“We are focused on our plan to fight for transport reforms that will reshape our roads and skies into industries of prosperity, opportunity and dependability.”

The national council programme starts on tomorrow at Hobart’s Grand Chancellor, starting with addresses from Labor leader for Tasmania Rebecca White and Michael Kaine on major gig economy announcements.

A press conference will follow, while the protest over government inaction begins on Thursday morning.

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