Industry News

Transport Workers Union mourns passing of trailblazer Ian Smith

The Transport Workers Union is mourning the loss of former TWU president and SA/NT branch secretary Ian Smith, who has passed away aged 63 after a battle with cancer.  

Smith was a member of the TWU for 30 years, joining as a driver and later becoming a delegate.  

He went on to be the lead delegate for the TWU in South Australia for the first national enterprise agreement at TNT.  

He served as Branch Secretary from 2017 until he stepped down in May this year.  

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said TWU members and the broader transport industry would not be where they are today without Smith’s contributions.  

“For three decades, Smithy dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the pursuit of a safer, fairer, better life for transport workers, their families and all who share the roads and the skies,” he said.  

“Smithy was respected and loved by his members, the TWU National Committee of Management, and many across the union movement.  

“Taking on the likes of Qantas, Uber, Amazon, and major retailers would not be possible without people like Ian insisting that transport workers deserve better.  

“The TWU will always remember the commitment of Ian and the support of his loving family.” 

TWU SA/NT Branch Secretary Sam McIntosh added that Smith will always be a “giant” of the TWU and the transport industry.  

“So many of our members knew Ian personally and saw first-hand how hard he worked every day,” he said. 

“His contribution has been simply immense. His passion for our members and their families is second to none, and his vision for the TWU SA/NT branch always extended far beyond his own tenure. 

“On behalf of the Branch Committee of Management, delegates and members, our thoughts and condolences go out to Ian’s wife Sue, daughter Maddie and his entire family. We will miss Smithy terribly and are all the more determined to continue his legacy and make Ian proud.” 

The TWU has listed some of Smith’s achievements during his tenure as:

Negotiating national enterprise agreements that have lifted thousands of transport workers to industry-leading rates of pay and 15 per cent superannuation
Improving pay and safety across the Adelaide bus industry
Defeating Qantas in the High Court over illegal outsourcing
Getting Virgin Australia back in the air after administration
Fighting for two decades and winning transport reform and world-first gig worker protections, which federal parliament passed earlier this year



The post Transport Workers Union mourns passing of trailblazer Ian Smith appeared first on Big Rigs.

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