Tuesday, 05 February 2013 08:37
Workers at one of Australia's largest coal haulage operators will strike on Friday after pay negotiations broke down.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) said it's notified Pacific National of its intention to strike on Monday.
The stoppage will begin at midday on Friday and run for 24 hours.
RTBU national secretary Bob Nanva said members felt they had no choice left but to strike.
"Pacific National has deliberately brought these negotiations to a standstill, leaving the RTBU no option other than industrial action," Mr Nanva said in a statement.
"Any Pacific National customer with concerns about this weekend's stoppage needs to ask Pacific National management why it is conducting an ideological union busting campaign against the RTBU, rather than getting on with the task of moving coal.
"Negotiation is a two way street. While the Union is receptive to revised offers, Pacific National has barely budged.
"The company's offer was voted down by 85 per cent of the workforce in December, before members voted to endorse industrial action in January."
The RTBU has said it's also concerned about the company offering higher pay rises to members who don't take industrial action and the introduction of individual agreements.
Asciano's coal division, Pacific National Coal, said that during the industrial action at least 300,000 tonnes of coal would be stopped from reaching the port, worth over $25 million to the NSW economy.
Pacific National Coal Director David Irwin said the union has refused its pay increase offers.
"In an increasingly challenging economy, where we are seeing extensive job losses and mine closures amongst our customers, we have offered a very generous wage increase of four per cent each year, against the RTBU's exorbitant publicly stated wage claim of nine per cent, seven per cent and seven per cent," he said.
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