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ARTC Reneges on Commitment to Meet Combined Rail Unions Resolve Dispute

Aug 9, 2016News

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has reneged on its commitment to meet with the combined rail unions (RTBU, ASU, ETU, and Professionals Australia) just two days after ARTC CEO John Fullerton agreed to meet in Newcastle this Tuesday 9 August.

In an effort to move the dispute toward resolution Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Branch Secretary, Alex Claassens, on behalf of the combined rail unions contacted Mr Fullerton and offered to withdraw two one hour workplace stoppages on Monday if Mr Fullerton agreed to meet in Newcastle on Tuesday.

Mr Claassens said that in line with the agreement with Mr Fullerton, the RTBU National Lawyer notified the ARTC on Sunday morning to inform them that, as a gesture of good faith the combined rail unions would withdraw the two one hour workplace stoppages planned for Monday.

“At 8:49am on Monday morning, the ARTC sent an internal newsletter to staff confirming that John Fullerton would be meeting with the unions on the basis that they had cancelled their planned workplace stoppages.

The ARTC bulletin read:

“Discussions between RTBU NSW Branch Secretary Alex Claassens on 6 August and John Fullerton have resulted in the combined unions providing formal notice to withdraw the two, one hour work stoppages planned for Monday.  

This was done on the basis of a meeting between the CEO and Union officials on Tuesday 9 August to discuss the dispute and allow John to explain ARTC’s position.

ARTC Internal Communications – Weekly News – 8:34am, Monday 8 August

While the combined rail unions held up their end of the bargain by withdrawing the two workplace stoppages, on Monday afternoon they were contacted by the ARTC and told that the meeting on Tuesday was called off and Mr Fullerton would not be attending.

“We were shocked and dismayed when the ARTC contacted us after 4pm Monday afternoon, after we had cancelled that day’s stoppages, to tell us the meeting had been called off after telling their own staff via internal email that our meeting would go ahead.

“We are deeply disappointed that the ARTC has behaved in such an underhanded and distrustful manner.

“It begs the question, who is really running the ARTC?

“Unfortunately, with the ARTC’s refusal once again to sit down and talk about the enterprise bargaining agreement, there is no resolution to this dispute in sight.”


Media contact: Darren Rodrigo 0414 783405

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