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Train drivers will consider industrial action including 24-hour strikes and protest messages read over the PA system, as a standoff over a new four-year pay deal deepens.
Treasurer Rob Lucas has attacked the Rail, Tram, and Bus Union over demands including a 4 per cent annual pay rise in each of the next four years, saying SA can’t afford it, labelling the latest moves “callous”.
The dispute also comes against the backdrop of tram operations having already been privatised, and outsourcing of train services expected to follow next year.
The RTBU has now won Fair Work Commission approval to hold a vote of members to decide what industrial action could be taken in their fight with the State Government.
Members will be asked to approve actions including an unlimited number of work stoppages for up to 24 hours, bans on overtime, wearing of union-branded face masks and making scripted protest announcements “at regular intervals over train announcement systems”.
The member vote must occur by October 15. However, it could be held earlier.
That would potentially allow industrial action to be taken as early as later this month.
The union has also released its “bottom line” negotiating positions, which include the 4 per cent annual pay increase, better rostering and ongoing free parking at worksites.
The RTBU has dropped a request for paid car washes for workers who attend the Adelaide Operation Control Centre in Dry Creek, which Mr Lucas branded as ridiculous.
However, it is seeking better protections against COVID infection, clear redeployment arrangements for workers and a job guarantee that will apply to the new private operator.
RTBU SA and NT secretary Darren Phillips said: “Rail workers are fighting to protect the health and safety of workers and commuters and protect SA jobs”.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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