AusRAIL, Market Sectors

PN slams rail union for 24-hour strike

<p>Pacific National has slammed the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) for industrial action that has seen employees walk off the job today (Friday, August 12).</p> <p>The 24-hour action is a result of a dispute over rostering arrangements, driver-only operations and other issues presently under negotiation as part of Pacific National 2005 enterprise agreement.</p> <p>A Pacific National spokeswoman said there was some disruption to mainline freight services. </p> <p>"But the terminals are open and trucks are picking up freight," she said.</p> <p>There was also some delay to coal services on the Hunter Valley network, she said.</p> <p> Pacific National chief executive Stephen O’Donnell said the company was "disappointed" that industrial action had suddenly taken place when the two parties were closer to finalising the enterprise agreement.</p> <p>"We are struggling to comprehend why the RTBU has walked away from the negotiating table when only days ago the parties agreed to five outstanding items," Mr O’Donnell said.</p> <p>"We have met the RTBU over 30 times so far in these negotiations and not once did they indicate that the negotiations had reached an impasse.</p> <p>"I can only assume that this industrial campaign is an ill thought out and ill advised strategy initiated by the RTBU."</p> <p>The RTBU said Pacific National had "dragged out" negotiations for five months and accused the company of sending representatives who did not have authority to make decisions.</p> <br />