RW: What's happening at Sydney Terminal?
Station Assistant: Currently negotiations are taking place between the SRA and National Rail, supposedly to give us the contract to clean the Indian Pacific. But behind the scenes, the bosses are intending to knock it on the head for ulterior purposes. Staffing of cleaners for private contractor cleaning of the Indian Pacific is 5 people, whilst our staffing level for the same job is 22 people. To do the cleaning of the Indian Pacific we aren't provided with overtime. The work is just added to our normal work.
RW: What's happening with the bosses' "privatisation by stealth" strategy?
SA: The enterprise bargaining process is greatly facilitating this strategy. With the 3rd version of the EBA formalised, important measures to assist it, have been introduced such as part time work and a no strike clause, which is supposedly to eliminate the threat of industrial disruption which the bosses' fear. It is quite clear that the top union bosses are deeply implicated in the privatisation process. The SRA restructuring document which refers to the subdivision of the SRA into business entities, had both the SRA and Labor Council Loggos on it. With the full implementation of the privatisation plan, all the stations would be privatised, with private rail services. Whilst the govt would mainly own the electric rail system. Private operators would pay the govt to operate train services. Already, rail hobbyists who run special train services, such as steam trains, are being charged $1,000 per day for them. A likely tactic, the govt. is using to assist their privatisation hidden agenda is `budget blow-outs" In the case of National Rail, before corporatisation it had a deficit of $29 mill., since corporatisation this deficit has increased to $130 mill., due to expenditure on new infrastructure. This increased deficit is being used as an excuse to sell it off. The same tactic will be used with the SRA, following its corporatisation with its subdivision into business units.
RW: What is the attitude of the PTU bosses to moves to resist this boss offensive?
SA: Recently a meeting was called to look into resistance to this boss onslaught. The union bosses who attended this meeting set out deliberately to sabotage it. They provoked yelling matches at the meeting by raising very contentious issues, disrupting and destroying the meeting.