Workers striking against Aurizon halt CQ's coal trains
STRIKING workers have put a spanner in the works for Aurizon and consequently CQ's coal freight network.
The industrial action comes after nine months of failed talks between Aurizon and the Rail Tram And Bus Union (RTBU) on the first of several Aurizon enterprise agreements set to be renegotiated this year.
RTBU central district branch organiser Craig Allen said they commenced an industrial campaign aimed at getting Aurizon back to the negotiating table.
"Workers across Aurizon have suffered cuts in conditions, a consistent barrage of cost cutting and workshop closures. They have had enough," Mr Allen said.
"Workers have been forced to take action because Aurizon has walked away from the negotiating table. Aurizon is now trying to get its 'wage and condition cut' agreement voted up in the workplace."
Mr Allen said Aurizon workers were fed up with the multimillion dollar pay packets being pocketed by Aurizon executives, while the workers were being offered a wage reductions.
"Workers want a fair deal and the constant attacks on their wages and condition to stop," he said.
"With this being the first of several workplace agreements due for re-negotiation this year at Aurizon, if Aurizon don't start listening to their workforce it could be a long year."
An Aurizon spokesperson said they received notice of protected industrial action from the RTBU banning their members from Network Control working on the Goonyella Control Boards for 24 hours from midnight on Thursday.
They said the timing of this action coincided with a scheduled maintenance closure of the Goonyella System and did not expect the action to impact on train services.
The spokesperson confirmed they had since received further notice of protected industrial action consisting of a number of stoppages of their members from Network Control working on all Control Boards.
"We are assessing the potential impacts of this action, we anticipate we will be able to staff all Control Boards during this time, there may be some delays to services," they said.
"It is disappointing that the RTBU is taking this industrial action when Aurizon has been bargaining in good faith on a new enterprise agreement."
Aurizon encouraged the RTBU to allow their members time to reconsider their proposed revised enterprise agreement proposal for employee ballot before taking further industrial action.