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News headings from LabourStart

Jim McGiveron stands down as WA secretary

« Back to News Articles Jim McGiveron stands down as WA secretary

Jim McGiveron has done a mighty job for our union but he’s decided it’s time for a change of leadership After 18 successful years at the helm of the WA Branch of the Transport Workers Union Jim McGiveron will stand down as Branch Secretary on December 31.

Jim has been a full-time official of the union for 28 years after joining the union as a full-time organiser back in 1984. Prior to that he had been our convenor on BHP’s Mount Whaleback mine at Newman. Jim has done a mighty job for our union but has decided it is time for a change of leadership.

The union’s Branch Committee of Management has appointed current assistant secretary Rick Burton as Jim’s replacement. Paul Aslan will become Branch Assistant secretary.

Jim will continue in his role as the current TWU national president and will stay with the union for a period as a Special Projects Officer. His new responsibilities will include promoting and growing the TWU’s national interests in the oil and gas industry throughout Australia. His background and vast union experience will prove invaluable in this area.

When Jim McGiveron first took over the WA Branch in 1994 it was struggling financially and losing members. It is now in top financial shape and the union’s membership has grown in 16 of the 18 years he has been at the helm.

A recent audit of the Branch’s books shows we now have 10,076 fully financial members.
Strong membership density creates strength in the workplace and the Branch has also scored highly on the wages and conditions front.

Wages campaigns under Jim’s leadership have consistently delivered pay rises for members that are significantly higher than the rate of inflation.

The success of the Branch over almost two decades has come at a time when other unions have lost members.

Increasingly restrictive industrial laws such as John Howard’s Workchoices have made it a lot tougher for unions to organise and use industrial muscle to further work-related causes. Gone are the days when you could just walk off the job demanding a pay rise or the reinstatement of an unfairly sacked workmate.

These days’ huge financial penalties can be, and are, imposed on unions and workers who overstep the mark.

Soon after he became branch secretary, Jim McGiveron warned a large meeting of TWU members that the playing field was rapidly changing. And if the union was to survive we would have to adapt or die.
Throughout his leadership the union has adapted and today the WA Branch is a very well administered, modern and progressive organisation with a high priority on service to members.

As Jim McGiveron prepares to hand over the reins he can look back with pride on a record that includes many great achievements for members.

His stated aim after taking over the job in 1993 was to leave the Branch in better shape than he found it. He has certainly far exceeded that objective.