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Trojan Rail – Fair Work Commission MSD Update

Oct 15, 2021Employer News

Today FWC Deputy President Bull facilitated a conciliation conference concerning our application for a Majority Support Determination (MSD) to begin bargaining for an enterprise agreement to  cover employees of Trojan Rail in NSW.  

Prior to the hearing Trojan continued to object to an enterprise agreement, and in response to our  application claimed; 

• Our petition for a MSD was inaccurate 

• Trojan Employees do not want an enterprise agreement 

• The majority of employees do not want to collectively bargain for anything.  

Trojan claimed this on the basis that they had conducted their own survey and their employees  were happy. 

The RTBU locomotive division conducted the MSD petition as allowed for under the Fair Work  Act and clearly there were many employees who sensibly indicated they want an EA and want  the right to collectively bargain for higher wages, better conditions, and job security.  

At the FWC conference Trojan engaged lawyers to argue against your petition, still claiming the  petition was flawed, no one wanted an Enterprise Agreement, and they requested a secret ballot.  

Trojan’s initial position was that the RTBU should pay for the ballot, yet when the RTBU agreed  to this request, and said there was no objection to an electronic ballot through an independent  ballot company, Trojan then said they would actually rather use the AEC and they would pay for  it. Any independent ballot company is exactly that independent. Why Trojan would infer that it  wasn’t is difficult to comprehend. 

The RTBU raised concerns that the AEC may take several weeks to conduct an election to which  Trojan claimed it should only be two weeks. In good faith the RTBU agreed that if an election can  be conducted in two weeks by the AEC then we would agree to that course. 

The Deputy President adjourned the matter to be relisted in the near future while Trojan check  with the AEC about timeframes to conduct a vote, and report back. 

The RTBU locomotive division will support a vote through the AEC if it can be conducted and  concluded quickly, if not we will ask the Deputy President to consider directing the parties to use an expedient independent ballot agent. 

While the matter was not completely resolved today, a ballot means employees will shortly be  given the opportunity to decide if they want a collective Enterprise Agreement in a completely  confidential nature – neither the Union or Trojan will know how individual employees have voted.  

A confidential and secret ballot is a fair and just way to determine what all Trojan Rail employees  really think about improving their working conditions. Trojan Rail employees should remember  they are under no obligation to tell their boss or anyone else how they intend to vote.  

Members get prepared and get ready, your opportunity to negotiate better wages and  conditions is only a “yes” vote away.

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