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Pacific National: Coronavirus employee update

Firstly, a massive thank you to all PN RTBU Members. What you are doing at the moment is above and beyond. Keeping the trains loaded, maintained and moving so that Australians have access to vital supplies, and companies have access to resources to keep their business going and in turn, people employed. And all of this through a global pandemic. A situation that none of us have ever seen. It’s truly remarkable, and you should be very proud.

At the time of writing, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pacific National. This is quite remarkable considering the sheer number of people that PN employs and really reiterates the dedication of RTBU Members continuous reporting and demanding proper PPE, sanitizing and hygiene products at work. And doing everything they can in their personal lives to reduce risk and exposure to people in the community.


You should have all received a Memo with PN’s “Light Vehicle and Loco Procedures”. Your RTBU Officials have been demanding a two-person per vehicle approach to all working in line with federal Government standards and continue to do so. There are circumstances where PN are requiring three people in a Loco for training purposes. A high level meeting is scheduled this week to try and address this issue

Members, your Health and Safety is absolutely paramount (especially in current circumstances), so you should be doing your own Risk Assessments (or Take 3 in PN speak) when something doesn’t feel or look right.

There are VERY limited times where there may have to be more than two people in a Crew Car (emergencies, safety critical or fatigue). The RTBU have requested that during those times, PN must supply disposable gloves and masks. A mass-supply of masks has been procured and is in transit, and PN are doing the same with gloves.


PN have started asking Members to complete a Self-Health Check upon Sign On in the form of a questionnaire. And will start to introduce infra-red thermometers to do temperature checks as well. These Health Checks are to minimise the risk of unwell people being around others. All Operational Staff (including Contractors) will be asked to do these checks.


Members are STRONGLY REMINDED that your EA’s are to be abided by, HSR’s to be involved in Risk Assessments and WHSE Committees to continue as per normal.

There has been NO agreement between the RTBU and Pacific National to alter or relax any of the normal legal and legislated requirements that come with Enterprise Agreements, Health and Safety Committees or elected HSR’s. In fact, during these times of uncertainty and angst, it’s even more imperative to stick to the letter around these instruments.

WHS Committees should be convening regularly by electronic means and if the company have not scheduled meetings then the HSR’s should be demanding meetings be set up immediately. The company is legally required to consult all WHS changes and issues. HSR’s and WHS committees are your elected WHS representatives and the company is required to consult with them on your behalf.

Any new products, procedures or changes to your work environments MUST BE RISK ASSESSED. The elected HSR has the right to participate in any assessment and also the right to request the methodology and outcomes of any management risk assessments and to have them reviewed if required. Such a request cannot be denied under the law.


RTBU Officials, Organisers and Delegates are in daily communications, and have several weekly scheduled meetings with PN.

A thousand thank you’s to all the extremely hard working Delegates out there who are literally our eyes and ears on the ground. The information you are providing us with is the backup we need to put pressure on PN to do better and be best.

Click here to download the full update.