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Sydney Trains uniforms a disaster, say workers

Apr 19, 2015News

The new Sydney Trains uniforms are not only hot, itchy and extremely uncomfortable, but also a serious health hazard, workers say.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union recently surveyed around 300 of its members following months of complaints and concerns about the new uniforms which were introduced by the NSW Government last year.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said the results prove the uniforms are a disaster:

  • 80 per cent agreed the shirts are too hot and do not breathe
  • 60 per cent said the trousers are hot and uncomfortable
  • 24 per cent experienced skin allergies, irritations and/or excess sweating caused by the trousers
  • 45 per cent said the trousers made them itchy and some even bled as a result of scratching
  • Just 6 per cent had no issue with either the shirt or the trousers

Employees described the uniform as “like wearing a plastic bag”, “a disgrace”, “embarrassing”, “a disaster” and “the worst uniform in my 30 years of service.”

Mr Claassens said the union will be discussing the serious uniform problems with the new Transport Minister as soon as possible.

“These uniforms are completely unsuitable for the type of work rail workers do and the NSW climate,” Mr Claassens said.

“It’s ridiculous that almost a quarter of the workforce is experiencing skin allergies as a result of this uniform.

“We’ve been urging the NSW Government to take action on the uniforms since they were first introduced. It will be one of the top agenda items when we get an opportunity to meet with the new Transport Minister.

“It’s unacceptable that workers are being forced to wear a uniform which is not only terribly uncomfortable, but is also putting their health at risk. Looking ‘professional’ shouldn’t come at the cost of comfort and safety.

“Workers aren’t asking for much – they just want a uniform which they can feel comfortable in and which doesn’t cause health problems like skin irritations and bleeding.

“We’re still hopeful that common sense will prevail and that the Transport Minister will rethink the elements of the uniforms which are causing serious concerns.”

Read the article in the Sunday Telegraph here.

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