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Exclusive: TWU refuses to accept loss of ATA membership

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Lack of payment of dues deemed to have put union outside the tent

Exclusive: TWU refuses to accept loss of ATA membership
Michael Kaine


The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has lost its membership of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) nearly three months ago, it has emerged, but the union fails to see it that way.

The move to drop the union, which has been an integral part of the ATA and its predecessor orgainsation sisnce the early 1990s, over unpaid dues appears to weaken both sides.

The ATA now has to present a less-comprehensive industry front to decision-makers, while the union’s voice within the national peak trucking body is muted.

With the union insisting it is still a member, it remains to be seen how long the situation continues.

The pair have sometimes been in accord on particular issues, not least the Senate trucking inquiry presently underway.

But tensions and sometimes harsh words have marked the relationship in recent years, particularly since they took opposing positions during the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) controversy in 2016.

The ATA is adamant that spur is financial and membership is not a free ticket.

"The TWU ceased to be a member of the ATA on 5 August 2019; they chose not to continue paying for membership," ATA chief of staff Bill McKinley tells ATN.

This development came as something of a surprise within the union when raised but its leadership is presenting a stern face.

"It will come as no surprise that there have been differences between the TWU and the ATA in recent years and that there are widespread concerns across the industry about the direction of the association," TWU national secretary Michael Kaine tells ATN.

"While we remain a member of the ATA, the TWU is assessing our ongoing position and are due to meet with the ATA shortly."

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