Sydney LightRail workers have delivered an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote to have the right to take protected industrial action after a breakdown in negotiations over wages and conditions.
Division President Gary Way said NSW tram workers at the Light Rail service made the decision after reasonable requests for a fair wage were continually ignored by their employer.
“NSW tram workers are the worst paid in the country.
“They currently earn at least $5 less than their Victorian counterparts.
“Today workers have said yes to standing up to this unacceptable gap and demand to be paid a fair wage.
“NSW tram workers must not be treated like second class citizens.”
Mr Way said that a number of options would now be available to tram workers from small scale actions such as refusing to do overtime or comply with uniform codes to larger scale actions such as stop works of up to 24 hours or refusing to sell tickets.
“We hope that we won’t have to resort to taking action but if Veolia continue to stonewall workers we won’t be ruling anything out.”
Mr Way said that while employees and their Union will continue to follow and comply with the Fair Work Australia procedures there are unconfirmed reports that workers have felt intimidated and bullied by conduct of their employer.
“This can only prevent the timely resolution of the dispute,” said Mr Way.
“With the privatisation of Sydney Ferries it is extremely concerning that workers at a private transport company are being treated in this way.
“And with government plans to expand the network, it is important that current and future workers are given the respect that deserve.”
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Divisional Secretary Chris Preston & Divisional President Gary Way
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