Thursday 10 February 2011

Traill slams local Labor MPs about job losses due to privitisation

Outspoken Electrical Trades Union organiser, Stuey Traill, has again criticised his own Labor party who have pushed ahead with the massive privatisation to deal with State debt over $80 billion, under the guise that it would not jeopardise jobs.

It is expected that around 3,000 Queensland Rail staff will be asked to take a redundancy package in the next few weeks. QR was one of the State-owned assets sold in a $6.7 billion public float late last year, that Labor promised jobs would be safe after privatisation.

The redundancy offer amounts to a third of the staff employed by QR National in Queensland.

"This latest announcement vindicates everything that we have been saying since the Queensland Labor Government decided to flog off our assets," Stuey Traill said yesterday.

In August last year, the new floated company QR National publicly stated that new employee agreements gave "employees and investors certainty". Staff were granted a one-off payment of $4,000, along with a 4% salary increase, and an employment guarantee to three year, replacing the guarantee of a job for life.

The announcement to substantially reduce the rail network's workforce, is said for the company to remain competitive.

"We have proposed voluntary redundancy at this time for operational reasons and to help ensure the size of sections of our workforce are relative to our competitors and industry benchmarking," QR National said yesterday.

The State Opposition Liberal National Party called the redundancy plans "an outrageous Labor betrayal".

"I heard [State Premier Anna] Bligh on the news last night saying that jobs would not disappear or something to that effect," Stuey Traill said. "A redundancy is a job loss. Simple as that."

Traill's Labor Party membership, along with ETU secretary Peter Simpson, is being considered for expulsion by the party's administrative committee, following a two-year campaign against privatisation. It appears that they have now put this membership issue on hold, realising the political fallout by expelling Traill, who has a substantial following within the wider community.

This is the third time that the party has raised the possibility of terminating Traill's membership.

In an email from Barron River MP Steve Wettenhall in May 2009, the MP said he was elected as an endorsed ALP candidate and am a member of the ALP, and supported the 'party platform'.

"On fundamental policy issues such as privatisation, I am guided and indeed consider myself bound by the ALP platform," Steve Wettenhall wrote. "I support the party platform."
  • 5.12: (2008) Labor platform
    Labor rejects a program of privatisation of public services, such as public hospitals and schools, public enterprises including subsidiary companies or utilities (in particular Rail, Ports, Public Hospitals, electricity and water) as an economic strategy.

    Privatisation of public enterprises should not be used to solve revenue problems of governments. Labor believes that it is more through improved management of the existing public sector than through privatisation that Government can provide a wide range of benefits to the community.
In October last year, the ETU stopped making donations to the ALP.

"We need people to know that the ETU/CEPU Queensland has not donated a cent to the ALP since privatisation," Stuey Traill said. "As a Union we are affiliated to the ALP. This decision was taken by rank and file members at our 2009 Branch Conference, prior to the privatisation announcement."

In a stinging letter yesterday to local Labor MPs, Desley Boyle, Cairns; Curtis Pitt, Mulgrave; Jason O'Brien, Cook; and Steve Wettenhall, Barron River, Stuey Traill said the MPs have "blood on their hands."

"I personally believe that you all have blood on your hands for your role in the 3,500 job losses, a large portion of which will disappear from Regional Queensland," Traill said. "I remember the arguments from all on the Government side that privatisation would create opportunities and ensure the long term viability of their employment."

"We were all deceived again."


Bryan Outlaw said...

Once again Labor and union shill Stuey (wtf?) Traill goes to bat for overstaffed, lazy, and bloated companies. Like the dockworkers that squealed when John Howard gutted their cushy jobs, these railroad workers now have to provide a competitive and cost-effective service for all Australians.

Good riddance to these overpaid and underworked and bring on the cost reductions! And let's hope Traill runs for one of the local Qld Parliament seats so we can all tell him where to stick it.

Unknown said...

I dont see how you can blame the Government for someone deciding to take a VOLUNTARY redundancy.

Its a great way for employees to leave the business is they want - ill be getting made redundant soon, and im looking forward to it

Bryan Law said...

Good on you Stuey!

Someone has to stand up for the workers and their families. 3,500 redundancies is a substantial impact on every city in Queensland.

It will reduce the quality of service for the entire state.

It's time to stand up for justice, and to remind the LABOR Party the it was the LABOUR Movement that put them into office to serve the working class.

I'm hoping the union movement in Queensland puts up leaders like Stuey Traill to run a community campaign aimed at pressing this reminder home. We need desperately to revive our heritage of working class agitation that has made our country so great.