07 July 2008

World Youth Day -- Transport Strike Update

The government is taking the threat of strike action seriously. So it should considering the traffic problems that it would create. However, the government's plan is to go to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) with a view to resolving the stagnant negotiations or getting an order that would prohibit any strike action during the Pope's visit.

I have a sneaky feeling that resolve in the government's mind is getting the AIRC to sign off on the 2.5% cap on wages. If that fails then an order that simply says any strike action on certain dates would be illegal.

The NSW Minister of Transportation, John Watkins (pictured), says that the "industrial action ... is irresponsible, and in particular next week." I wonder irresponsible for who? The members of the RTBU whose families are going to be negatively impacted by a wage rise that is below the rate of inflation? Or irresponsible to those who are going to be making some big cash out of the Pope's whirlwind tour of Sydney?

The irresponsible party here is the NSW Labor Government who have failed to put into place any contingency plans in the event their negotiations with the RTBU went belly up. Another fine example of the NSW Government taking their eye off the ball and then looking to blame someone else for their complete ineffectiveness. Then again, maybe we should have seen this coming.

My hope is that the government does take this to the AIRC and they slap the 5% increase that the RTBU is demanding on the government. This would avert any industrial action and ensure that nothing irresponsible happens.

I wonder who is looking after the little people while the NSW Government is looking after the interests of the Catholic Church?


It seems that the government might not be all bad. Latest reports are saying that the government has a 4% wage offer on the table that would require some productivity improvements and some head office changes.

The drama continues.

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