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Rail industry desperate to discredit union’s safety fears: have your say

Apr 30, 2012Update

The rail industry is resorting to outright lies in order to discredit the RTBU and its opposition to the proposed scrapping of the 12-hour shift cap as part of the new Rail Safety National Law.

In response to comments by Bob Nanva RTBU National Secretary on ABC Radio National about the dangers of watering down rail safety protections, the rail industry has accused the union of “scaremongering”.

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) spokesman Bryan Nye claimed there are currently no train drivers in the network driving anywhere near 12 hours because all drivers’ EBA agreements have shift lengths far less than 12 hours.

“This is fundamentally wrong and misleading,” said Bob Hayden, NSW Loco Division Secretary. “Almost all our agreements have the facility for drivers to work 12-hour shifts and for the ARA to say anything different proves the comments are more to do with spin rather than fact.”

In fact excessive shift lengths were one of the main complaints the union was taking to employers.

“We have people out there doing shift lengths of not only 12 hours but 14 and at times more, and with one employer alone having regular multiple complaints about excessive shift lengths.

“If this is the deception being spread by the rail industry before the new laws are passed, just imagine what it’s going to be like if the laws are weakened and the industry is regulating itself in regards to shift lengths and safety?”

The rail industry’s desperate attack on the union indicates their concern that state and federal transport ministers may actually listen to the facts rather than spin and take the union’s valid safety fears seriously.

If the union’s position is upheld, the hard-won existing protections for workers will be maintained and employers will not be able to dictate safety regulations that suit their own bottom line.

Click to listen to the ABC interview with Bob Nanva and Dave Mathie – Fatigue Management_ABC_AM

Click to listen to the rail industry response on ABC radio

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