Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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Fair Work Rules on Aurizon Agreements

FWC Aurizon Decision

Members across the RTBU have read with surprise the widely reported decision of the Fair Work Commission in relation to Aurizonís enterprise agreements.

The FWC upheld Aurizonís claim that the current enterprise agreements be cancelled, before any new agreement has been finalised.

The decision to cancel the agreements is not just controversial for members in rail but across the union movement. RTBU National Secretary, Bob Nanva was right when he said in the media yesterday that this sets a dangerous precedent for Australian workers.

RTBU National Officials have been in discussion with the Australian Council of Trade Unions to consider the ramifications. At the same time the RTBU legal team is looking closely at the decision to work on an appeal strategy and other related options. It is expected we will have more to report on this shortly.

The decision is not effective until the 18 May after which Aurizonís published guarantees will be put in place for a six month period. The guarantees are around not reducing pay rates and other matters which have been provided directly to members affected.

RTBU Queensland Branch, Secretary, Owen Doogan has been speaking with delegates and members since the decision was handed down. Owen said that the overwhelming feeling among member so far was anger.

ďMembers are saying that they feel like Aurizon is trying to take the whip hand in these negotiations. For one of the richest companies in Australia it is heavy handed action that they just wonít copĒ said Owen Doogan.

Bargaining Remains Focus

Bargaining continues and negotiators wonít be intimidated by this decision.

Industrial Action in Callemondah, Bluff, Stanwell, Maryborough, Mackay and Rockhampton has been notified for next week to put pressure on Aurizon to reach agreement and negotiations will continue in the meantime.

Many negotiating groups report that they are getting close to agreement on key points but there are still some big issues ahead of us. We wonít be weakened by this decision and will continue to negotiate and fight on behalf of members.

Unity is Strength