Branch Secretary John Berger presents an Honorary Membership Certificate to Derwent Fraser.


September 25, 2017

Another successful TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Member Dinner has been held with a huge turnout for the annual Traralgon event.

We are truly proud of the unity of our grassroots members – it is this unity that holds the union together and makes it possible for us to fight hard for things worth fighting for and for our colleagues and mates.

TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger, TWU-BUS Senior Organiser Mike McNess and TWU Senior Organiser and BCOM member Mick Wirrick all addressed the dinner.

John said the community spirit of Latrobe Valley residents was underlined with two recent successful local community campaigns. The historic Traralgon Show has been saved and will go ahead in December after a grassroots push for funding and volunteers and the Heyfield Timber Mill will continue to operate after the State Government purchased the business following a long and vocal community push to save this local industry and secure jobs.

TWU members play peripheral roles at the show and Heyfield, such as delivery and bus drivers and waste collectors, so we’re very grateful as a Union as well.

Members from Latrobe Valley Bus Lines, Hanson and Holcim Concrete, Cleanaway Domestic, Bedggoods, McColls, Martin Brower and Downes Transport, Elgas, Armaguard, Safeway and McColl’s Pakenham, Fonterra – Darnum, Murray Goulburn – Maffra and Leongatha and Pauls Parmalat attended the dinner.

John touched on a range of TWU activities in addressing the dinner, including the push by predatory, non-union companies to get into farm pick-up work and recent big wins for the Branch in regards to bus driver safety and safe rates for owner drivers. Given the large number of dairy drivers at the dinner, it was also timely for John to stress the need for these members to be extra careful in the course of their duties.

“Dairy drivers are prone to injury. In picking up from dairy farms, drivers must negotiate things like uneven, slippery and rocky ground and work in poor lighting.  Farmers are obligated under the Workplace Health and Safety Act to provide safe workplaces. Anecdotally, many drivers are not reporting issues, perceiving the farm as a farmer’s private property,” John said.

“If there is an unsafe farm – report it to your OH&S official. If you are injured report it. You would be amazed how many workers do not report injuries only to regret it later.

“If you are injured & the company plays hard ball we will use our resources to assist.”



TWU members are the strength of the Union and the more of us who stand together, the greater and more frequent will be our victories….so it was genuinely heart-warming to see such a great turn-out at Traralgon and at all of the other Branch Member Dinners held this year.

Remaining dinners for 2017: Geelong (17 November), Hobart (5 December), Devonport (6 December) and Launceston (7 December).

TWU Senior Organiser Mick Wirrick

TWU-BUS Senior Organiser Mike McNess


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