Kaine, who has worked at the TWU for two decades, including as National Assistant Secretary, is the leading figure behind the Safe Rates strategy and the concept of a road safety watchdog aimed at holding wealthy clients to account for fairness and safety in transport. He has led negotiations for enterprise agreements with some of Australia’s biggest transport companies including Toll and Linfox, helping workers to win record-high superannuation, fair rates and workplace rights. He is well respected throughout the union movement and also co-chairs the ACTU’s Change the Rules committee.
Tony Sheldon steps down as National Secretary after 30 years working with the TWU, as a member, organizer, NSW branch secretary and National Secretary. He has been an outspoken advocate for transport workers, leading the charge for Safe Rates and the fight for airport workers. In 2014 he was elected Chairperson of the International Transport Workers’ Federation Road Transport Sector, where he has been pushing for accountability of companies at the top of the transport supply chain. He successfully led negotiations at the United Nation’s International Labour Organization to incorporate client pay and accountability as a safety issue for road transport.
He will remain in the TWU for the coming months supporting the transition and working to ensure decent labour standards on government projects. He will also be working on projects related to the on-demand economy.
“The TWU is a strong, united organisation today with the sole focus of improving the lives of transport workers. I will continue to build the activism among our members so they can demand better jobs and a better future.,” said Michael Kaine.
“We want to work with employers and employer groups which are interested in fairness. We want road transport and aviation companies to know that we will fight for fairness for workers at a yard and port level but also at the top of the supply chain to ensure that wealthy retailers, manufacturers, airports and airlines are held to account over working conditions,” Kaine added.
“I will continue to work on behalf of transport workers and all working families in Australia to ensure a decent future for our children and grandchildren. As a Senator I intend to bring the advocacy and activism from my time in the union movement to the policy level,” said Tony Sheldon.
Michael Kaine biography
Michael Kaine was elected to the position of National Assistant Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union in 2006. Before that he was Chief Legal Advisor to the TWU NSW Branch. He was admitted as a solicitor of NSW in 1999 after completing his Arts/Law degree at UNSW. Prior to working with the TWU he was employed by the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office, working in the areas of community law and torts.