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PN Coal say no to counter flexibility offer

As we reported on Friday, Pacific National (PN) Coal took the weekend to consider your delegates counter proposals regarding potential flexibilities in case of a COVID-19 related emergency at a PN depot. Delegates and Officials met by video conference Monday 27 April to hear PN’s response.

PN opened by saying that what had been put forward offered the company no extra flexibility than what is currently available to them under the enterprise agreement and that monetarising flexibility measures is not a path they will consider.

Your delegates responded by stating that a number of significant concessions had been suggested as potential ways to give PN flexibility, and that there was no dollar figure put on anything. A proposal had been made on the possibility of offering monetary incentives for members to go in a temporary transfer pool which may encourage employees to put their hand up. This concept is not new and has been done on a number of previous occasions by PN.

PN were questioned on what areas they were prepared to negotiate on. They indicated that there were negotiable areas, however when pushed, said that there was no point going through it. They advised delegates that they could continue to consider PN’s original proposal and get back to management with anything further to offer. In answers to a number of Delegate questions, PN did acknowledge that what they were proposing requires members to be away from their families for longer periods of time and that they would be potentially at higher risk to COVID-19 exposure, but seemed to be unphased as business requirements needed to be met.

Delegates and the RTBU Locomotive Division Officials have given further consideration to PN’s proposals however cannot offer any further concessions as members have made it very clear they do not want their EA conditions diminished.

A copy of PN’s proposals and the RTBU’s response proposals are attached for members information.

The RTBU remains open to sensible discussions with PN on COVID-19 but is not prepared to sell members EA conditions out in a fire sale. Emergency situations come and go and on each and every occasion we deal with them sensibly and logically. What PN has proposed can only be seen as an opportunistic and ideological attack on members hard fought rights and considering PN’s response to date, they have offered nothing that would suggest otherwise. World oil prices having plummeted, along with near record coal tonnages, is no doubt giving PN higher than normal profit margins, yet they continue to push their employees to the limit in the middle of a pandemic, so much for the safety rhetoric we continue to hear from PN.

Members will be kept informed should further progress be made. Any questions please speak to your local depot delegates.

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