Australia, Transport Industry News

TWU honours late trailblazer Ian Smith


Transport industry stalwart and long serving member of the Transport Workers Union, Ian Smith, has passed away aged 63 after a battle with cancer.

Smith joined the TWU in 1994 as a driver at TNT, where he later became a delegate. He went on to be the lead delegate for the TWU in South Australia for the first national enterprise agreement at TNT – the first of its kind in the country.

He then started his work as a TWU official 15 years ago, being appointed as branch assistant secretary of the TWU SA/NT just two years later. Smith then served as branch secretary from 2017 to when he stepped down in May of this year.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine paid tribute to Smith.

“TWU members and the broader transport industry would not be where they are today without Ian Smith,” Kaine says.

“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.

“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.”

Smith’s achievements as a part of the TWU included:

  • 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; and
  • Fighting for two decades and winning transport reform and world-first gig worker protections, which Federal Parliament passed earlier this year.

“Ian will always be a giant of the TWU and transport industry,” current TWU SA/NT branch secretary Sam McIntosh says.

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

Previous ArticleNext Article
  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend