ARTC workers forced to walk off the job as corporation attacks working conditions
Workers at the Australian Rail and Track Corporation (ARTC) have today (Monday 23 July) been forced to walk off the job, following management’s refusal to provide the workers – who are responsible for keeping our railways safe – with a fair and reasonable enterprise agreement.
ARTC members at depots across NSW, including at the major Hunter depots, are currently taking part in a 24hr stop work. The stop work kicked off at 3am on Monday. The protected industrial action follows a five-hour stoppage the workers took part in last week.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens, said workers have been forced to take protected industrial action following ARTC’s refusal to bargain reasonably as part of current enterprise agreement negotiations. Negotiations for a new enterprise agreement have been ongoing since late 2016.
“All ARTC workers are asking for are fair wages and conditions, but at the moment, ARTC management are refusing to provide that,” Mr Claassens said.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to get to the point of taking protected industrial action, but ARTC management have left us with no choice.
“These workers keep our railways safe. They maintain our track and railway infrastructure to the highest standard. They deserve to be fairly compensated for the vital work they do.
“Management at this federal government corporation are refusing to budget on vital issues, like allowances. We’ve currently got a situation where workers who are forced to spend long period of time away from home in order to maintain track in regional and remote areas of the state aren’t provided with an allowance that adequately covers the costs of living away from home.
“Workers can’t simply sit by and let ARTC management eat away at their living wage.
“No one ever wants to take protected industrial action, but until ARTC management come to the table with a fair offer, we don’t have any choice.
“We’re hopeful that management will come to their senses sooner rather than later and agree to pay their dedicated workforce fairly so workers can get back to doing what they do best – keeping our railways safe.”