AN “UNFAILING ally” of transport workers is how Tony Sheldon has been described upon his election to the Australian Senate.

The former TWU national secretary’s election as a Senator for New South Wales is one of the few bright spots for Labor in an election that produced a shattering loss.

Speaking at the TWU national council in Cairns, current TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said Mr Sheldon had been ”an unfailing ally of transport workers for decades”.

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“He has worked tirelessly to force through change which has made a huge difference to the lives of working families,” Mr Kaine said.

“This includes helping ensure airport workers have a voice, that owner drivers in NSW have legislation protecting their right to fair pay and that a new generation of workers in the gig economy are given the tools to stand up to companies exploiting them.”

TWU national president John Berger (who has just been elected to the role), said the union was indebted to Mr Sheldon for his years of hard work.

“We will miss him but we know he will continue to serve the country’s working families through his work in the Senate,” he said.

Mr Sheldon said he was determined to hold the government to account.

“It is with sadness that I will leave the TWU but it is a united, strong union which has major plans on how to continue reforming transport for the better,” he said.

“This vision will serve the entire country well.”

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