||Issue No. 289||11 November 2005|
The Great Repression
Interview: Public Defender
Legal: Craig's Story
Unions: Wrong Way, Go Back
Politics: Queue Jumping
History: Iron Heel
Economics: Waging War
International: Under Pressure
Poetry: Billy Negotiates An AWA
Review: A Pertinent Proposition
The Locker Room
We're Just Serfin'
To the Shredder
PacNat Bids to Railroad Future
Pacific National negotiators have told RTBU reps the push to dud new starters is not an issue of cost but rather one of “philosophy”.
Workers in four states will walk off the job for two days next week over moves to strip wages for new starters under an agreement being pushed by the rail giant.
The action comes after PacNat lawyers used technicalities to block three earlier attempts to stop work over a new agreement, to the point where 60% of the rail operators 2000 strong workforce pledged in writing to reject the company's offer.
Pacific National is seeking a three tiered system for maintaining wage levels that would effectively amount to a pay cut for employees that are re-classified in the future.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union has said company's view is as long it is the future employees who are affected the most, the RTBU should not be resistant.
"There will be few safeguards, if any, to prevent the company from re-classifying employees en-masse to suit their agenda," says RTBU national secretary Bob Hayden.
The RTBU recently surveyed to members asking whether or not they would vote for a non-union Enterprise Agreement. Members were given three days to return the survey. Of nearly 2000 employees, over 1200 responded, with only three saying they would vote for an agreement not supported by the RTBU.
"The message should be loud and clear for the management of Pacific National," says Hayden. "The membership has clearly stated that they do not believe that what the company has on the table is acceptable.
"Earlier this year Pacific National announced a 9 month net after tax profit of $78 million, a 39% increase from the previous 9 months.
"The success of Pacific National is as a result of the efforts of workers and they should be entitled to benefit from the success of the company."
The RTBU has exempted passenger services pulled by Pacific National locomotives from next week's industrial action.
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