“We take great encouragement from today’s announcement that TWU members fully back our plan to grow this union and end the race to the bottom in the transport industry. This is another great show of unity amongst our membership that gives us the strength to take on the wealthy retailers, manufacturers, airports and airlines at the top of transport supply chains and hold them to account over working conditions,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
“Over recent months, TWU members have stood together in protests, in negotiations and where necessary in protected action to demand a fair go for all transport workers. With our mighty membership behind us, we put wealthy retailers like Aldi, and booming profit-reaping airports and airlines on notice that we won’t stop fighting for safe and secure jobs across the entire transport industry,” Kaine added.
Between them, Kaine and McIntosh have dedicated more than three decades to the TWU including as National Assistant Secretary and NSW Branch Assistant Secretary. Kaine 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 is well respected throughout the union movement and also co-chairs the ACTU’s Change the Rules committee.
Kaine and McIntosh jointly 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.
The announcement comes on the same day Kaine led Australian protests at airports in all major cities, which formed part of a global day of action to demand improved pay and conditions for airport workers.
“The TWU has the sole focus of improving the lives of transport workers. We’ll continue to build the activism among our members so they can demand fair pay, safe conditions and job security across the transport industry,” said National Assistant Secretary Nick McIntosh.
“Workers across the globe face huge challenges from corporate power which forces operators to undercut each other to win contracts. Our union is committed to fighting for fairness throughout the supply chain, taking on fights at a yard and port level but also holding those with the power to account,” McIntosh added.
Kaine and McIntosh took up their positions in August after the previous National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, stepped down to run for the Senate. Sheldon remains in the TWU for the coming months supporting the transition and working to ensure decent labour standards on government projects as well as fighting for rights in the on-demand economy.
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.
Nick McIntosh biography
Nick McIntosh joined the TWU NSW branch in member services in 2006. He quickly moved into the role of Legal Officer before becoming Wollongong Sub-branch Secretary in 2013. He held the position of NSW Branch Assistant Secretary from 2016 until his appointment as National Assistant Secretary in August 2018.