Fair Work Commission to take TWU to court

The transport union is under fire from the FWC over its membership books

Fair Work Commission to take TWU to court
TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon.


The Fair Work Commission (FWC) is planning Federal Court action against the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) for allegedly failing to remove the membership records of over 20,000 non-paying individuals.

Led by FWC general manager Bernadette O’Neill, the commission says it is satisfied with the outcome of an investigation into the union’s actions between 2009 and 2013.

"The General Manager is satisfied that the TWU contravened the legislation by failing to keep a register of its members between 2009 and 2012 for its NSW Branch and for 2013 for its Western Australian Branch, failing to keep a copy of the register of members for an election concerning the Queensland Branch and failing to remove from its register the names and postal addresses of more than 20,000 members of the NSW Branch," the FWC says in a statement.

The FWC says it confirmed the news to TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon on Wednesday.

Citing the alleged breach as a matter of "public interest", the commission says it will undergo civil proceedings against the union for alleged contraventions of sections 231(1), 231(2) and 172 of the Registered Organisations Act, which require records to be maintained.

It is believed the NSW branch of the TWU had 20,907 unfinancial members listed.

"The maintenance of proper membership registers is an essential requirement to ensure that registered organisations are accountable to their members and are able to operate effectively," the FWC says.

In response to the news, a TWU spokesperson says the union "acknowledges the Fair Work Commission’s correspondence and will fully co-operate with its processes. "

"The Union has changed the way it keeps its membership records," the spokesperson says.

"All Branches are now maintaining the register of members in accordance with the requirements."

The timeline on the charges has not been announced.




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