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A message from your new Locomotive Division Secretary Farren Campbell

Dear Members, 

Today the NSW Branch Executive confirmed my appointment to the position of Locomotive Divisional Secretary as recommended by Divisional Council at their meeting on 9 June 2021 following the resignation of Bob Hayden. I am humbled and honoured by the privilege of leading our great Division. 

Simply put, I am a proud Train Driver from a family of proud Train Drivers. Growing up in a railway town, I know the importance of good, secure rail jobs for workers, their families and for the community. 

One of my earliest memories is attending the Parkes Railway Picnic, when Rail workers and their families came together and celebrated our shared values and our common goal, winning better lives for working people.  

My family and I have benefited tremendously from the work of our Union, and I am committed to continue that fight for all Locomotive Division Members across the state. Together we can build and expand on this legacy.

Before stepping up as Locomotive Division Secretary I want to honour the work of Bob Hayden, and acknowledge his achievements as a leader within our Division, the RTBU and broader Union movement for three decades. 

Under his stewardship, the Locomotive Division has grown and thrived at a time when other Unions have struggled to maintain relevance. Our Union continued to hold its own against anti-worker legislation, anti-Union governments, hostile employers, and a cultural shift away from the “collective”. 

On a personal note, Bob is a mentor, a friend, and the type of staunch Trade Unionist we can all learn from.    

It is from this position of continued Strength, Unity and Power that the Locomotive Division embarks upon our next chapter. Our Loco Executive, our Divisional Council and I are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure our Union continues to advance the working lives of Members.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for us to take stock of every facet of how our Division operates. Yes, the Locomotive Division has been successful, but we cannot rest on past achievements. Society, and our Membership, is changing and we must change too.

The challenges are great, and there are many – hostile employers, privatisation, casualisation, ineffectual regulatory bodies, anti-worker laws – and underpinning these challenges is a neoliberal ideology that has taken root at every level of society.

Despite these challenges, one thing remains true. Train Drivers ARE Union. We act collectively, we stick together, and we’re up for a blue. This was true a century ago when Rail Workers led the great strike, it was true in November when we stopped an unsafe train from operating across the InterCity network, and it is true today.

Together, we will face these challenges with a renewed and continued commitment to Unity. We will strive for industry standards for all drivers regardless of employer.  We will set the benchmark on all fronts and work for the benefit of all Train Drivers, in defiance of divide and conquer tactics.

Whether you’re in Bankstown or Broken Hill, Passenger or Freight, a Trainee or an “Old Hand”, a Train Driver is a Train Driver, and we are UNIONISTS.

I look forward to hitting the ground running and continuing the work of the Locomotive Division.

In Solidarity,
Farren Campbell