February 3, 2020

TWU responds to COVID-19 pandemic

Transport workers from all sectors are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many transport workers in aviation, buses and the gig economy are on the frontline, while truck drivers and distribution centre workers are impacted by significant changes in demand.

The TWU is committed to protecting members across all sectors of transport. We’re working with companies and the government to ensure workers are kept safe, their pay and conditions protected as much as is possible at this time, and to ensure workers will be prioritised when our industry returns to full health.

Your health

Nothing is more important than protecting your health and safety, including mental health. During this pandemic, the TWU continues to fight for worker protections including additional measures around social distancing, PPE, stopping cash handling on buses, keeping truck stops open and hygienic and to ensure workers are not disciplined for raising legitimate healthy and safety concerns.

Click here for health advice on coronavirus, its symptoms and how to protect yourself at work

It is always OK to ask for help

If you have a question, concern or just need to talk please reach out to your HSR, delegate, official or branch member services.

Further help is also available: Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

Your rights

Click here for our FAQ on the Job Keeper payment.

After a fortnight of relentless campaigning from the TWU, transport workers and then the broader union movement, the Morrison Government has been forced to backflip on its previous refusal to fund subsidies to companies to cover the wages of stood down employees.

The Government will now pay a flat $1,500 per worker subsidy to businesses impacted by COVID-19 who retain workers during the crisis. The Job Keeper payment will be paid to all full-time, part-time, sole traders and ongoing casual employees (12 months or more of service) through your employer’s payroll.

Now the fight continues to expand this subsidy to ensure no worker is left behind, including short-term casuals and visa holders, that superannuation is covered and leave entitlements are protected.

More on TWU’s response

The TWU is working with members, delegates, unions, SafeWork Australia, industry groups, employers, clients and politicians to put in place protections for workers from all sectors. We’re taking a united approach to put pressure on the Federal Government and companies to do right by their workers.

Calling on the Federal Government to protect workers

The TWU was first to call on the government to support all workers. Weeks ago, we called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to urgently meet with worker representatives and pay wages to those unable to work. We continue to fight for these demands:

  • Government to cover the wages of all workers stood down; up to 80% of their salary
  • Workers should not have to exhaust entitlements such as leave before receiving the subsidy
  • Before any stands downs and Government wages payment kicks in, companies to agree to not pay shareholder dividends or executive bonuses until at least 2022
  • Before shareholder dividends and executives bonuses are paid, all workers’ used entitlements must be recredited
  • Companies like Qantas which have promised bonuses to workers must pay them now

Emergency Transport Roundtable

The TWU and ARTIO held a crisis transport industry roundtable to unify the industry in COVID-19 solutions that will support transport workers and operators throughout this uncertain time. The roundtable saw industry groups often on opposing sides of the argument set aside differences and come together for the good of the industry to survive this unprecedented crisis.

A united approach gives our industry the power to pressure the Federal Government into stepping up to its obligations to support our industry and working people.

Click here for the agreed list of solutions.

Click here for the Facebook live stream of the press conference.

Fighting for aviation workers on the frontline

Aviation workers have been severely impacted since this virus hit global airspace. Workers at the airports and on aircraft are at high risk of contracting and transmitting the virus, and many were left in the dark about safety by their companies. Now with travel bans diminishing demand, workers are facing uncertainty about their job security and being forced to use up their conditions or take leave without pay.

We’ve partnered with unions and aviation companies to call for government assistance to keep aviation workers in paid jobs.


Join the TWU today

Transport workers are fighting for a fairer, safer industry. Join them today and secure your future.

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