Rally against looming rail staff cuts

July 25, 2009

Fifty people attended a rally at Redfern station on July 18. The protesters said Railcorp's proposed staffing cuts were unjustified and put commuters at risk.

Redfern station is part of Railcorp's central business district zone, which includes Central, Museum, St James, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, Martin Place, Kings Cross, Milsons Point and North Sydney. The findings of a staff review into the zone will be announced in late July.

Railcorp management has already "reviewed" other stations on the Cityrail network and left a swathe of non-staffed and understaffed stations in their wake.

The rally was supported by a coalition of groups including the Friends of Redfern Station, local community group REDwatch, the South Sydney Herald, the South Sydney Uniting Church, the Factory Community Centre, the Socialist Alliance and the Darlington branch of the ALP.

The protesters pointed out that Redfern station is one of the rail networks' busiest interchanges. Staff cuts would disadvantage disabled travellers, young families and the elderly who all rely on staff for help with access to station platforms and for safety.

Geoff Turnbull from REDwatch said Redfern was the major access station for Sydney University students. It should have a lift to allow disabled students to use the station, he said.

John Maher Australian Services Union transport division president is a member of the Staff Review Committee. He told the rally Railcorp management proposed to cut 17 staff at Redfern in what he described as a cost-cutting exercise of no value to the travelling public.

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