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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

LocoTV – 5 March 2015

Mar 5, 2015

In this edition of LocoTV hear about the March 4 rallies, the latest on the Newcastle line issue, PN moving to stand down its coal and bulk employees while pre-planned track work is being undertaken, and the latest on the Sydney Trains whistle ban.1.

Pacific National is attempting to stand down coal and bulk employees without pay while pre-planned track work is undertaken.

The Loco Division immediately disputed the move which is clearly an attempt to cut costs at the expense of its hard-working employees.

The Loco Division and the RTBU National participated in two meetings with the company earlier this week in an attempt to resolve the dispute.

The company made it clear in the meetings that it had made a decision and was not for changing, leaving the RTBU with no alternative but to seek the assistance of the Fair Work Commission.

While stand down provisions are contained in the enterprise agreement, the division believes the information sent out by the company is inconsistent, confusing and potentially in breach of their obligations under the EA.

The union will do whatever it takes to protect the interests of those members affected. We’ll keep you updated on this dispute as it progresses.

2.

Sydney Trains is still insisting on pushing ahead with its ban on using the train whistle.

The company claims that it has introduced the ban as a result of noise complaints, however the Loco Division is very concerned about the impact the policy will have on safety.

Use of the whistle is already being suppressed in certain areas, however the company wants to introduce a ‘no whistles’ policy across the board.

The Division has met with the company on the issue, and has requested copies of two risk assessments that have been conducted.

The Loco Division will continue to oppose the plan. It cannot support a decision which it believe puts the health and safety of workers and the travelling public at risk.

3.

Loco Division members were among the thousands of workers who turned out to rallies across the country this week, speaking out against the Abbott Government’s attack on working people.

In NSW, rail workers joined rallies in Sydney and in Newcastle, calling on the government to stop its attack on wages and conditions and other key areas like superannuation, community services, unemployment benefits, and public services.

The Fight for our Rights marches were designed to send a strong message to the government that workers won’t stand for the continued attack on our rights.

4.

And finally, this week also saw the release of a parliamentary inquiry into the NSW Government’s decision to rip up the Newcastle rail line.

The inquiry, chaired by Reverend Fred Nile, found that some former MPs and property developers have questions to answer over some of the recent planning decisions made in Newcastle, including the decision to tear up the rail line.

Among the recommendations were that the NSW Government restore the rail line, which has been tarred over by the government since the line into the CBD was closed on Boxing Day.

The government’s new transport plan for the city has caused much controversy of late, with recent reports suggesting that it isn’t the plan originally recommend by Transport for NSW and that it is costing an additional $100 million and resulting in longer journey times and greater traffic congestion.

Stay tuned for more info on this issue as it comes to hand.

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