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RioTinto Train drivers, the CFMEU and special guest Justin Parry union leader as #JP#

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  • RioTinto Train drivers, the CFMEU and special guest Justin Parry union leader as #JP#

    I can't say I have anything good to say about unions, in particular the CFMEU. I've never had any good experiences with them at all.
    Heard on the radio that the train drivers working for Rio Tinto are looking for a payrise, and are considering strike action (with the aid of the CFMEU).

    Just had a look on the web for some info and came accross this:
    Strike threat to iron ore trains : thewest.com.au

    with this key interesting point:
    Rio Tinto’s direct bargaining with employees had been effective over many years. Its train drivers earned between $160,000 and $210,000 a year and the company guaranteed their job security when automated trains began operating.
    Now, I'm of the opinion that if you don't think your employer is doing the right thing by you, and won't come to the table, then you are well within your right to move on (at the moment, it's not like getting a job is hard - especially if you are worth your payrise...)
    If there is no-one out there paying what you want, then perhaps the job isn't worth it, and you are just overvaluing yourself. If you really want more cash, do something else.

    I'm just curious to hear other peoples views. In particular, I'm interested on hearing any other side to this particular story. I can't see how people making that much cash can require a pay-rise so badly that it's worth group strike action.

    Edit: If RTIO really are refusing to talk to the CFMEU I can understand why. It really reeks a lot of them sticking their nose in where it isn't really needed and trying to throw their weight around. Anything to do with the slowdown in residential construction perhaps?
    Last edited by sathid; 06-10-2008, 10:42 AM.
    No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation to detail.




  • #2
    ive seen the work that those train drivers do, at the end of the day, if they're earning that much for sittin on their ass and tilting a control stick, they can get fucked if they want more

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    • #3
      it might seem trivial to us because they are already earning a lot, but if they are on 160k but they are really worth say 200k, then thats a pretty big difference, hence worth fighting for. But I agree with sathid, I am fundamentally against striking, if you dont like you job, then leave.

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      • #4
        If they are really worth more, that would suggest there is someone else paying that much, surely?
        In todays climate of high demand for workers, employers seem rather willing to come to the party in order to keep staff, provided it is feasible to do so. Especially RioTinto.
        No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation to detail.



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        • #5
          Just a little perspective guys...

          I flew into Port Hedland this morning and asked the guy driving me about rents...

          His rent was $1100 per week...

          His lease has just come up...

          Rent is now $2000 per week...yes $2000...

          3 bedroom 1.5 bathrooms hose in the industrial area with a small shed....$1.3 million...yes $1.3 million...

          So it ain't cheap to live up here...

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          • #6
            Throwing more money at the workers won't fix the vultures in real estate.
            such comment
            wow
            many post

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rich View Post
              Just a little perspective guys...

              I flew into Port Hedland this morning and asked the guy driving me about rents...

              His rent was $1100 per week...

              His lease has just come up...

              Rent is now $2000 per week...yes $2000...

              3 bedroom 1.5 bathrooms hose in the industrial area with a small shed....$1.3 million...yes $1.3 million...

              So it ain't cheap to live up here...
              So if rents fell, you'd support the businesses going on strike and refusing to pay wages until workers accepted lower salaries?


              and the conditions are shit, theres nothing to do up there, they dont see their families and its bloody hot. I take your point, but thats part of whatmakes the conditions what they are, and thats why the pay is what it is.

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              • #8
                Ouch

                Suffice to say is striking the answer? Why not "can we have a pay rise please"?

                I understand the good and bad points of Unions, or at least think I do... (they are not applicable in my industry)

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                • #9
                  $1000 per week.. I'd buy myself a caravan and live on a beach.
                  such comment
                  wow
                  many post

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                  • #10
                    The trains will be fully automated in a few years. I imagine that the train drivers will get their pay rise as it is very very difficult to get train drivers at the moment, but in a few years they will probably not keep their jobs if they do go on strike.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shmoo View Post
                      So if rents fell, you'd support the businesses going on strike and refusing to pay wages until workers accepted lower salaries?


                      and the conditions are shit, theres nothing to do up there, they dont see their families and its bloody hot. I take your point, but thats part of whatmakes the conditions what they are, and thats why the pay is what it is.
                      If rents fell.......bwahhahahahahahaa...


                      I am staying over night in a massive camp(dongas) in the industrial area...

                      Its huge and is used by many different companies...

                      It is one of a number of these camps, and a huge new caravan park (well new since I was living here in the early 90's)...

                      Accommodation is in short supply and always has been up here at Hedland and Karratha...

                      The cost of living in the North West is huge, its the reason I left Hedland years ago...

                      Everything is way more expensive than Perth...

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                      • #12
                        RTIO have always stated that no train driver would lose his job through the automation project. Natural attrition would be the only way the numbers would go down, and RTIO have even been offering re-training for any driver who wants to get out & into a new career. Dragging the unions into this is a load of wank - they are well paid (especially when you take into account what they are expected to actually do to earn their money, and the qualifications they have), and if more money was wanted they should have approached the company directly without bringing in the union. I'm pretty sure that this will just be the start of it now that we have the Krudd government in place. It will be a shame to see the state economy rocked by industrial disputes and interruptions over the next few years.
                        __________________________________________
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                        To arr is pirate.

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                        • #13
                          [quote=sathid;1095994]
                          Now, I'm of the opinion that if you don't think your employer is doing the right thing by you, and won't come to the table, then you are well within your right to move on quote]

                          Thats the standard/favoured employer line these days, great for the employer saves them having to deal with the issue of pay rises,CPI rises, or any other employee issues.
                          Has very little practicle value for a lot of workers, certainly for those train drivers being in a limited option type job, most peopl eare in no position to give up a secure job risk 3 months trial and likely end up worse of or end up with yet another employer with the "if you dont like it leave attitude.

                          Much better to unionise and presure the employer to do the right thing by their workers, its the only way to balance out the current power inbalance between workers and employers
                          National pride should not be a crime!.

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                          • #14
                            Alot of places out there don't want, and won't have a unionised workforce...

                            Sure having a Federal Labour Govt. is going to change things. AWAs are out the window and we are back to EBAs...

                            But I don't think you will ever see the ammount of unionisation that there was...

                            Where they still have a foothold, they will stay, but I don't think they will ever break into new ground...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MADOGA View Post
                              Much better to unionise and presure the employer to do the right thing by their workers, its the only way to balance out the current power inbalance between workers and employers
                              That is putting the employer at a loss for the sake of the employees. The unions are a bunch of money grabbing bullies. If you are worth the extra money then you will get payed that, if not then go else where. That's how it works in a market economy.

                              I agree that the companies should not be able to "screw" their workers, but why should some one with little or no qualifications earn more because they threaten not to work through collusion? That's why qantas brought in cheap staff from overseas as casuals during the deadlock. I'd like to see mining companies do the same when the industrial disputes start.

                              Their needs to be a system in place to protect the workers, unions are not it. They will fend and fight for themselves and don't give a damn about anyone else

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