22 February 2022
We have just received news that the Government is withdrawing its applications to the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
The Government, after initially smearing us in the media, came out yesterday and said that our action banning altered working for Train Crew posed a safety risk to the rail network.
They justified this position with a “risk assessment” performed in the dead of the night in the early hours of Monday morning.
It is clear to everyone that the shutting of the rail network on Monday was a brazen stunt and an attempt to strip our hard-fought conditions by using the unfair industrial relations laws in our country against us. There was never any real safety concern.
Our barrister asked the NSW Government yesterday at midday to provide a copy of the risk assessment they relied on to shut the network down. During the course of the day in the Commission, we asked 3 more times for the risk assessment, each time met with delay and obfuscation.
This morning at around 10am, we issued a subpoena for the production of the risk assessment ahead of the hearing tomorrow morning. With the risk assessment we demanded the production of the metadata to discover when the risk assessment was actually produced.
By 11am, it was all over. The lawyers for the Government wrote to us to advise that the applications would be withdrawn. Our industrial action stands and members win.
This is a massive win for members who were subject to some vial abuse through the media yesterday, and from the public.
In 2018, the Government took us to the FWC and had our industrial action cancelled. This time we were ready and took them on with our collective might, and we won.
Congratulations to all members standing together yesterday, and a particular shout out goes to your delegates who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure we have our ducks in a row to beat bullies like the NSW Government.
There is still some way to go in order to get an agreement, but this victory has shown the weakness in the Government
Issued & authorised by Alex Claassens, Secretary, Rail, Tram and Bus Union – NSW Branch
Level 4, 321 Pitt Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 92642511
Fax: (02) 92611342