Dastyari hails retiring TWU boss Forno

By: Brad Gardner

TWU NSW “has lost a fine leader”, federal Labor senator says.

Dastyari hails retiring TWU boss Forno
Wayne Forno (right) chats to TWU members during a protest.


The outgoing secretary of the New South Wales branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU NSW) has been praised for improving the lot of working Australians.  

Federal Labor senator Sam Dastyari used a speech in Parliament to recognise the achievements of Forno, who will retire from his role in January next year.

Dastyari says Forno, who became secretary in 2009, fought on behalf of owner-drivers, secured a landmark workplace agreement for StarTrack employees across NSW and achieved wage increases for bus drivers during his tenure.

"Wayne’s outstanding leadership on the safe rates campaign deserves particular recognition. This significant and ongoing campaign is aimed at improving safety for both truck drivers and the broader community," Dastyari says.

"The union has lost a fine leader who can be proud of a successful career that has benefited workers across Australia."

During his speech, Dastyari highlighted Forno’s lifelong involvement in the union movement and touched on how he gained his nickname of ‘Filthy’.

"Wayne’s over-fastidiousness regarding personal hygiene earned him the tongue-in-cheek nickname that he carries to this day: ‘Filthy’," he says.

"He was known for being meticulous about making sure his clothes were clean and tidy at all times. Yet, as an individual, Wayne is best known for his honesty, his integrity and his sheer doggedness."

Current TWU NSW assistant secretary Michael Aird will take on the top job at the union in 2015, with Richard Olsen serving as his deputy.

Dastyari has congratulated Aird for his ascension to the position and says he will carry on Forno’s legacy.

"Yet, in following Wayne Forno as secretary of the union, Michael has big shoes to fill and a grave responsibility in providing strong industrial representation to the men and women who keep NSW moving," he says.

Dastyari also thanked Forno as a good friend and ally during the senator’s time as Labor secretary.

"Thank you for your support, thank you for your friendship, thank you for your loyalty and thank you for the complete and utter faith you have always shown in me. I wish you and I wish your family the very best in future years," he says.

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