2010 Media Releases
Court imposes maximum penalty on QR for cutting corners to privatise
Today’s Federal Court fine on QR is a vindication of Australia’s workplace laws protecting enterprise bargaining, according to Queensland Council of Unions Secretary Ron Monaghan.
Queensland Rail was today penalised the maximum amount of $660,000 for 20 breaches of workplace agreements in its rush to privatise.
Queensland Council of Unions Secretary Ron Monaghan said the court had imposed the maximum penalty possible to punish QR for trampling on workers’ rights.
“Today’s decision is all about ensuring honesty in bargaining and making sure that workers get a fair go,” he said.
“The court’s imposition of the maximum possible penalty indicates how seriously the justice system views QR’s action.”
In determining penalties in the Federal Court today, Justice John Logan said QR had “utterly failed to consult with their workers”.
"Those workers were let down badly by senior management.
"To exclude workers is a very serious contravention ... of a very important modern workplace right."
Mr Monaghan criticised QR management for failing to tell the government that its privatisation timetable was unreasonable.
“QR knew early on that it couldn’t meet the Bligh government’s timeframe for privatisation – and now it has been punished for its failure to honour workplace agreements.
“It’s a clear example of QR putting its own interests ahead of the wishes of Queenslanders and the industrial rights of its workforce,” Mr Monaghan said.
“Reasons to halt the sale of QR are coming from every direction now.
“Respected academics and economists oppose privatisation, regional communities and workers are against selling public assets, 85% of Queenslanders don’t want it, and now our courts find QR’s actions are illegal. It’s time to stop the sell-off,” he said.
Five rail unions – the Rail Tram and Bus Union, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Australian Services Union, the Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees ‐ launched its Federal court action in February, saying that QR had failed to properly consult with affected workers.
Mr Monaghan said the Queensland Not For Sale campaign would continue, with more public meetings and rallies being planned for next month.
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Email the QCU or telephone on 07 3846 2468.
Contact the QCU
ph: 07 3846 2468
fax : 07 3844 4865
Level 5 16 Peel Street
South Brisbane Qld 4101