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Strike action hits Pacific National

<p>Pacific National will be hit by strike action tomorrow (Friday, December 5), after a breakdown in negotiations over driver-only operations.</p> <p>Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) delegates voted to stop work in Adelaide and the Hunter Valley and will later consider taking further action at other locations.</p> <p>RTBU president Bob Hayden said that Pacific National has insisted that New South Wales freight train drivers receive lower rates of pay until driver-only operations are implemented.</p> <p>But Pacific National said the payment in question is an additional 5% paid to former Freightcorp train crew since 1998 as part of negotiations for single-driver operations &#8211 despite the fact that NSW still requires two crew on freight trains.</p> <p>The company said these train crews presently receive $2.5m a year for single-driver operations. </p> <p>The NSW rail regulator has yet to approve single-driver operations and has said it will make its decision after Justice McInerney hands down his final report on the Waterfall crash inquiry.</p> <p>A Pacific National spokesman said: "We are happy to wait until the [rail regulator’s&#93 decision is made, but why should we pay people for work that cannot be performed?" </p> <br />