Rail crews angry at breakdown in talks

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

ANGER is mounting by Queensland Rail train crews over the breakdown in negotiations for a new industrial agreement.

Gladstone members of the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen (AFULE) met yesterday morning to discuss further action.

State secretary of the union Greg Smith said members decided on Thursday to enact an indefinite stoppage of all Queensland Rail (QR) train crew employees.

Mr Smith said the AFULE had been in negotiations with QR for the past month to replace the eightyear-old agreement cur-rently in place.

Mr Smith said the conditions the union were seeking were fair and reasonable.

'We want a 38-hour week, superannuation on our full wage, a minimum of two days off per week and industry standard remuneration.'

Mr Smith said the union had sought talks on a new deal more than 12 months ago but QR delaying tactics meant negotiations didn't start until late last year.

Local branch secretary Warren Hinds said Gladstone crews were furious at their treatment by QR.

'We work 520 hours to get 320 hours of pay,'he said.

'QR is playing a game with us in the hope that their delaying tactics will force us to negotiate under the new federal industrial relations laws.'



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