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In the Railway Digest January, 2019 edition and on page 7 and article on The Rail Sector Skills Crisis - A Call To Action.
The private rail operators bemoan the decline in interest in the rail industry as a career and the level of people leaving the industry and retiring and there is crisis of confidence in the rail industry similar to the road transport industry.
Aurizon is certainly doing its best to discourage people from entering the rail industry with the way it treats its staff and the recent action by Aurizon not to negotiate a new wage agreement.
The Company successfully terminated an enterprise agreement with its staff members in 2015 with The Fair Work Commission along with notorious organisations and companies like Murdoch University, AGL, Peabody Energy and Griffith Coal.
Aurizon is playing a game of brinkmanship industrial relations with its staff and the AFULE, RTBU and ETA to manufacture a stalemate in negotiations, so that it provides Aurizon with reasons to apply for the termination of agreements with the Fair Work Commission.
This action by Aurizon would leave their staff totally exposed to unconscionable negotiations by Aurizon to reduce the staffs conditions and pay.
Aurizon has thrown the negotiations back on the unions to clarify what the unions are seeking for their membership and again this is a manufactured attempt by Aurizon to create a stalemate for it to make an application to the Fair Work Commission.
The Aurizon staff have resorted to 24 hour rolling strikes on the company's coal trains to support their claims and this will certainly disrupt supply to exporters and coal fired power stations in Queensland.
Aurizon does not appear to be a company that has good governance and being an effective corporate citizen with ASIC taking Aurizon and Pacific National to court over their collusion between the two companies to create a monopoly for rail freight transport in Queensland.
The actions of Aurizon and Pacific National undermine the confidence in the rail industry and further create a bad image and further disadvantage the rail industry as a career pathway.
Consequently, the rail industries attempt to resolve the foreboding crisis of the lack of skill in their industry, will be completely jeopardised by the arrogant and self absorbed behaviour of Aurizon and Pacific National with their lack of capacity to collaborate with the other rail operators to improve the skill crisis the industry is facing.
Both Aurizon and Pacific National appear through their industrial behaviour and tactics, that they have very little regard for the mental health of their employees and this will also work against attracting people to a career path way in the rail industry.
--Scott Ramsey (Regional Rail Alliance)
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