Pacific National – When Will They Listen?
Item 1 – Werris Creek Redundancy Issue
Pacific National Bulk Rail went through a redundancy process at the Werris Creek Depot mid last year. At the time, Werris Creek Members and the RTBU Locomotive Division advised Pacific National Bulk Rail that this was a mistake as a huge grain harvest was just around the corner. Disappointingly, Pacific National Bulk Rail didn’t want to listen.
During the redundancy process, Pacific National made transfers to Gunnedah and Willow Tree Coal Depots and made written agreement with 9 members that they would stay on until 31 December 2021 at the latest before being terminated and receiving a redundancy payout.
During August 2021, Pacific National realised that the advice provided by the Werris Creek Members and the RTBU Locomotive Division back in 2020 was indeed correct and have now removed the promised redundancies for the 9 Members. These Members have made plans for their future and a direction to stay on to get $5k in another 18 months’ time, instead of the original agreement, is a huge slap in the face. The RTBU Locomotive Division is working with the affected members in an effort to have Pacific National honour their agreement.
Item 2 – Port Kembla Loss of Steel Link Contact
As you are aware, Pacific National have lost the Steel Link Contract with Watco taking over the internal and QUBE/SCT taking over the external Steel Link contracts.
At this stage, the internal contract will finish around 12 December 2021 and the external contract will finish on 31 December 2021.
While this is a disappointing loss for Pacific National, our main concern is how they are treating their employees, RTBU members, and your comrades.
There are 3 consultation pieces taking place.
1. New Pacific National Outer Harbour Bulk Depot – Pacific National Bulk Rail 2018
2. Pacific National Intermodal Drivers Depot – Pacific National Intermodal Train Crew 2021, and 3. Pacific National Internal BlueScope – Pacific National Outsourced Projects Enterprise Agreement 2021
The consultation sessions/processes are all being done separately despite being interlinked in one way or another. Whilst we believe the consultation process should be done together, as one, it appears that Pacific National’s left hand is not talking to the right hand.
1. New Pacific National Outer Harbour Bulk Depot consultation and how they got it so wrong.
• Pacific National has been thinking about this proposed new Depot for months now. • Pacific National have proposed 20 new positions.
• Pacific National has failed to advertise any proposed positions as per the current Enterprise Agreement, instead just offering these positions to Moss Vale and Nowra Bulk Depots.
• Pacific National Bulk Rail Management have given false hopes to members at Moss Vale and Nowra depots especially when there may be enough Members at Pacific National Port Kembla and Pacific National BlueScope to fill these positions as part of a redeployment process.
2. Port Kembla Intermodal Drivers Depot consultation and how they got it wrong.
• In December 2019, Pacific National were advised they were unsuccessful in securing a contract extension for the Steel Link contract and would cease to provide services from the 31 December 2021 and are only now consulting with less than 3 months to go.
• Pacific National Intermodal knew of a proposed Pacific National Bulk Depot months ago, but have been advised by previous Superintendent, on numerous occasions that there is no Bulk Depot.
• Pacific National Intermodal accepted EOI’s from members to transfer to other locations without giving them a chance to investigate properly the proposed new Port Kembla depot.
• Pacific National Intermodal will not consider Salary Maintenance even though your rate of pay is higher than the Pacific National Bulk Rail 2018.
• Pacific National Intermodal are stating that redeployment to the Pacific National Bulk Rail EA is a suitable alternate employment even though the wages and conditions are less attractive.
• Pacific National will consider members that have transferred to other locations affected by the loss of the Steel Link Contact on an individual basis.
• Pacific National Intermodal is not adhering to the enterprise agreement by calling for expressions of interest for voluntary redundancy.
3. Pacific National Intermodal BlueScope (Internal BlueScope) consultation and how Pacific National got it wrong.
• Pacific National will cease operations at the Port Kembla Steelworks.
• Approximately 65 members covered by the Pacific National Outsourced Projects Enterprise Agreement 2021 will no longer be required.
• For members engaged in South Yard operations the anticipated end date is the 31 December 2021. • For all other members the end date is 12 December 2021.
• Pacific National has not advised members of a possible new Pacific National Bulk Depot at Port Kembla.
• Pacific National will not wait for members willing to work at the proposed new depot if they don’t gain employment with another operator. Instead, they will force redundancy as there will be no more opportunities in Port Kembla.
• Pacific National Bulk Rail has now closed consultation without acknowledging any possible relocation to the new proposed Port Kembla Bulk Depot.
After years of trying to assist Pacific National overcome circumstances, Pacific National continues to ignore their employees and their Union.
The RTBU Locomotive Division has asked Pacific National Bulk and Pacific National Intermodal for these consultations to take place as one to ensure the best outcome for Members.
At the time of writing, neither Pacific National Bulk nor Pacific National Intermodal have agreed to consolidate these separate consultations into one.