Queensland Rail fined over privatisation push

Issue 

On June 22, Queensland unions won a court victory with the ruling that Queensland Rail had broken the law by not consulting workers over privatisation plans.

“Queensland Rail has been slapped with a $600,000 fine after it failed to consult its workers over plans to privatise part of the company”, the June 23 Courier-Mail reported. “A Federal Court ruling earlier this month found QR breached 20 of its enterprise bargaining agreements by not consulting workers about the planned sell-off before it was announced.”

Federal Justice John Logan said in delivering his ruling that excluding workers from consultation was a “very serious contravention... of a very important modern workplace right” and imposed the maximum penalty for each breach.

Queensland unions have campaigned strongly against the sale of public assets, including rail, ports, motorways and forests, by the state government.

Rail, Bus and Tram Union secretary Owen Doogan told the Courier-Mail: “QR was so desperate to support the privatisation that they were prepared to break the law and they now face severe conseqences for that."

The government and QR are considering an appeal.