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QUBE train crew head into day 6 of company lock out

Jul 25, 2023Media releases

Bosses refuse to negotiate fairly unless workers drop underpayment claims

Media release, 25 July 2023: QUBE rail workers are still being locked out of work by their employer – almost six days after QUBE management refused to let workers taking part in low-level protected industrial action on site.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Locomotive Division Secretary, Farren Campbell, said the lock out which started at 0001 Thurs 20 July is clearly in large part an attempt by QUBE to weasel out of the massive underpayment case.

“This is a classic case of a big company doing everything it can to weasel its way out of its obligation to pay its workers fairly,” Mr Campbell said.

“QUBE’s handling of this situation has been appalling. We reached an in-principle deal on wages and conditions as part of current enterprise agreement negotiations, but then at the last minute the company reneged on the offer essentially telling us they’d only agree to a deal on the proviso that the RTBU agreed to drop the current wage theft case being heard in court, or workers agreed to enshrine the current wage theft practices in an agreement.

“QUBE clearly wants us to drop the wage theft case currently underway in the federal court, which is not surprising because if they lose the case – which we’re confident they will – they’ll have to repay workers a significant amount of money they’re owed.

“Workers shouldn’t be forced into a situation where they’re being asked to forget about potentially tens of thousands of dollars in underpayment in order to go back to work.

“It’s time for the company to own its mistakes and come back to the table and negotiate fairly so the workforce get back to doing what they do best – moving our goods across the country.

“This gameplaying from QUBE doesn’t just hurt workers, it’s also hurting the businesses that rely on QUBE’s freight services.

“We’re hopeful common-sense will soon prevail.”

The lock-out will impact QUBE’s approximately 180 train drivers across NSW who are based in various locations including Newcastle, Sydney. Wollongong, Bathurst, Port Kembla, Junee, Dubbo.