A Message for All Freight Members Regarding Labour Hire
Today the RTBU Locomotive Division has Launched a Majority Support Determination Petition (MSD) for Workers Employed in NSW by Trojan and Railtrain, the two largest rail industry Labour Hire Companies.
This is to force both companies to sit down and each negotiate a Train Crew Enterprise Agreement for their employees to ensure decent wages and conditions in their workforce. It has now been two years since Railtrain promised to sit down and start negotiation, yet still have not! Trojan have refused to negotiate at all.
By ensuring Labour Hire companies pay their employees fairly, we will ensure that in the long-term the large operators continue to directly employ those individuals who would otherwise work as Labour hire employees and make it less commercially attractive to engage labour hire to undercut wages and conditions in our Enterprise Agreements. Pay and conditions that members have fought long and hard for.
Regardless of who you work for, whether it is one of the big host companies like PN, Aurizon or 1Rail, or Rail train or Trojan, this is a fight for all members. Members need to be united as one. The only way to stop companies like these from continuing to implement schemes to undercut wages and conditions, is to force Labour Hire companies to negotiate and pay higher rates to their employees. This in turn will ensure strong Enterprise Agreements across all rail companies.
Did you know that PN have recently contracted Railtrain to run their new St Marys Terminal and that Aurizon have contracted their NSW grain operations to Trojan? Both companies have done this to avoid paying employees according to their own current Enterprise Agreements. This erosion of pay and conditions can only be stopped by a strong collective approach uniting all members.
It is imperative that over the next few weeks all workers talk amongst themselves to make sure that each and every Railtrain and Trojan employee are aware of and encouraged to sign their respective MSD petitions! We are counting on our existing members in Pacific National, Aurizon and 1Rail to talk to their Labour Hire colleagues on the importance of joining the RTBU and bargaining for better conditions. We need an overwhelming majority of employees from both companies to sign their respective petitions and become Union members. This will enable us to apply to the Fair Work Commission for the MSD once the petition closes. Once approved the labour hire companies must start bargaining.
The petitions are easy to compile, and full details are on a separate flyer we have produced and placed on locoexpress. Please distribute the flyers to any Labour Hire Employee you know and make sure they are displayed on your Union notice boards etc.
It is going to be a big year or so ahead for freight members as negotiations start on current and new agreements. The old saying UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE BEG has never been more relevant.