Back in 1848, bullock dray drivers hauling copper from Burra mines took the first industrial action of any transport workers in Australia. The issues faced by the drivers then are just the same as they are today (although most members drive more than the standard 17 miles a day).
It was the Port Adelaide carters and drivers in 1887 who really got the Union started, rapidly becoming successful and spreading the Union far and wide.
In 1938 the Union became a federal organisation and has been at the forefront of active unionism ever since.
In spite of huge technological change since the last century – the growth of the railways and interstate road transport and the rise of big transport companies, the TWU has always adapted to changing circumstances – because there is always a need to defend and extend the wages and conditions in the transport industry. Today your TWU is a modern union representing workers in long distance, general transport, owner driver, logistics, concrete, armoured vehicle, refuse, airline industry, gas and passenger vehicle.
It is this collective strength across so many industries that makes our Union a modern organisation that is a successful driving force that is dedicated in representing ordinary working Australians.