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Union stands by sacked Port Waratah workers

Jan 22, 2016Loco Express News


Rail Operator Pacific National NSW/VIC Bulk Division (part of Asciano) announced late yesterday it would be reducing its Port Waratah based Train Crew by making 46 employees redundant.

The company advised redundancies would be by both voluntary and forced methods.

The company has reported to the RTBU that the redundancies are a result of a weak coal market and a step down in a contractual arrangement with one of its major customers.

This reduction in train crew is in addition to several redundancies from the same business unit less than a year ago.

The RTBU, while acknowledging the step down arrangement will result in a reduction in tonnage, does not believe the numbers Pacific National are providing equate to the forecast reduction of coal, nor the tonnes lost to a rival rail operator.

This opinion has been formed due to the retrenchments occurring at the same time as the company has been and continue to actively advertise for casual train crew to work through a labour hire company.

This has occurred not only in the Hunter coal area but also in other areas of the business across the state, such as grain in the north and south regions.

Previous redundancies in Pacific National failed to properly consider all other options available, including seeking companywide redundancy swaps, in an effort to minimise, and where possible eliminate, the need for forced redundancies.

We call on Pacific National to do everything within its power to find alternate employment for these employees rather than force out highly skilled, trained and committed employees.

The RTBU will be actively participating in discussions with the Company to ensure our members are treated in a respectful and dignified manner, minimise losses, and ensure as many members as possible keep their jobs.

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