Rail Tram and Bus Union Queensland Branch
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“Agreed”, Morale is at an all-time low in Aurizon

Over the festive break I have had some time to look back over 2016 and the myriad of disputes we have had with Aurizon and the ongoing disputation. I do not think a day went past, over the holiday period, when I did not receive several calls from members in Aurizon who felt like they were being misled or pushed to do something that was outside of their agreement - again Aurizon used the “unless agreed” clause that is attached to all Aurizon agreements.

Then you read notices from Aurizon management regarding an increase in Graffiti and notice boards displaying derogatory comments about Aurizon. Now do not get me wrong, I do not agree with Graffiti or using notice boards to vent at your employer, BUT the question needs to be asked: Why are employees resorting to these tactics to vent their frustration at the company?

Aurizon suffers an increase in personal leave being taken, and responds by putting the whole depot on Doctor’s Certificates as a punitive response.

I think it’s time Aurizon asked why morale is so low:
  • Could it be the ongoing roster issues where Aurizon continue to change rosters with no real explanation why?
  • Could it be the almost bullying tactics by supervisors when a member takes Personal leave?
  • Could it be the constant extending of shifts in Depots?
  • Could it be that members feel pressured to not declare fatigue because of the special chat that happens when they do?
  • Could it be the constant restructuring and changes in the leadership team?
  • Could it be the ongoing threat to job security at workplace level?
One thing’s for sure “morale is at an all-time low in Aurizon” and given the amount of outstanding disputes we have going into 2017, I can see no light at the end of the tunnel. But we will of course continue to stand up for members’ rights in the workplace and given Aurizon’s “Profit before People” attitude, I think 2017 will be a busy year again.

Members are reminded that putting comments about your employer or workmates on social media can result in some serious action being taken by your employer around the code of conduct.

There are several disputes underway at the moment. This week alone we will see the dispute around two driver crews and traction competency move to the first stage in the Fair Work Commission. It is a long running dispute and we will keep members updated as the matter moves ahead.

Aurizon need to remember that it’s not the million dollar managers who keep the trains running 24/7, it’s the workers on the ground, in the field and on the trains that keep the profits rolling in

Aurizon needs to engage its workforce and truly start to ask the question: Why is morale so low? In the meantime it seems “Beatings will continue until morale improves”.

Unity is Strength

Bruce Mackie
Queensland State President