NSW commuters are set to return to buses next week as Unions have notified of further industrial action to take place, additional to indefinite industrial action still underway, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) said today.
This will more than likely mean a return to buses for NSW and North East Victoria commuters when a notified 24 hour stop work period takes place from 7am Thursday 18 August to 7am Friday 19 August.
ARTC is proceeding to a vote for a new NSW Enterprise Agreement on Thursday (11 August).
“It’s disappointing that the Unions industrial action campaign continues and we are again advising customers to prepare for disruption and delays,” ARTC CEO John Fullerton said.
“I would like to thank all of our staff for their hard work in the past fortnight both preparing for and managing these disruptions as safely as possible and minimising the impact on rail services where they have been able to.
“Unfortunately, that hard work and planning starts again with the notice of the action received late yesterday afternoon.
“In an environment where our customers are shedding staff or freezing wages, we believe we have put a fair offer forward. What is not fair is the elderly, families, workers and businesses continue to be impacted as a result of this dispute.
“A 2 per cent pay increase per year, over three years and no loss of conditions is fair and reasonable.”
ARTC’s focus is now on working with our customers on planning for and managing these disruptions as best as possible and further advice will be provided ahead of the planned industrial action next week.
Media contact: Bas Bolyn, ARTC, 0477 340 658
- ARTC estimates every 24 hour work stoppage to cost ARTC and the NSW economy around $10m.
- Various forms of indefinite industrial action ranging from operational restrictions, to no out-of-hours’ work and no overtime currently continue.
- ARTC was targeted by four days of continued and cumulative industrial action last week including 50 hours of work stoppages. This affected over a million tonnes of freight and up to 10,000 commuters.
- Union members have been taking up to 16 forms of industrial action – including two 24 hour work stoppages – since Wednesday 3 August.
- ARTC is currently facing low interstate freight volumes and low coal prices – this was reflected in a recent downgrade of ARTC‘s public credit rating by Moody’s rating service
- The Combined Unions have said they reserve the right to notify and take further industrial action in the future so there remains a high level of uncertainty
- The Unions are able to continue to take rolling industrial action indefinitely until a new Enterprise Agreement is registered.