Williams looks to future beyond TWU

"Workaholic" former Queensland TWU boss eyes volunteer sector

By <ahref="mailto:rzivkusic@acpmagazines.com.au">Ruza Zivkusic November 30, 2010

Hughie Williams, the head of the Transport Workers Union’s (TWU) Queensland branch, is out, it has been confirmed.

He will end his role as the TWU state secretary on January 10 after 20 years in the position.

The Australian Electoral Commission is yet to declare the results today but the returning officer, Brendan Carroll, says Williams was beaten by a "considerable margin" by the ‘New Transport Worker Team’, led by Peter Biagini.

Williams, whose hard work with the TWU has cost him his marriage, says he will continue to keep himself busy by volunteering.

"It’s not easy to take the defeat but then again it’s life and we all move on with it," Williams says.

"I think the thing that I’m most unhappy about is how people can defame me continuously in their campaign to get victory.

"When people accuse me of having boozy lunches and doing deals with the bosses, I don’t accept that.

"I’ve been an official for 38 years and I’ve never had a drink during the day until 7pm."

Describing himself as a workaholic, Williams says he will work with young prisoners, a project initiated by Lindsay Fox, to help them find work once released.

He already gives motivational talks at youth clubs.

When asked what advice he has for the new man in charge, Biagini, Williams says there’s "none" but adds the work can be tough.

"It requires a lot of dedication; phone calls before 6am and having your lunch with your mobile phone in hand, then when you try to go to bed or relax with your family at home at night you listen to people whinge at the phone," he says.

"If you’re not prepared to do that year in and year out and including Christmas Day, then don’t take the job.

"It has affected me and my marriage."



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