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(en) Anarcho-Syndicalists Help Defeat Privatisation Push in N.SW, Australia Railways

Date Thu, 20 Jul 2006 17:19:45 +0300

In late June the NSW (New South Wales) Railways management and the
ALP (Australian Labor Party) State Government attempted a renewed attempt
to restructure the railways for privatisation via bribing different grades
of rail workers to accept a non-union enterprise agreement which would
cause, the loss of aprox 400 rail jobs, a major speedup in remaining rail
workers jobs and set the scene for the introduction of the "smart card"
for public transport and other government usage. The smart card would
also create the basis for numerous companies to run franchises in public
transport following privatisation via the establishment of a transferable
ticketing system bewteen different franchises.

Following some hard hitting criticism by militants in the latest
edition of the anarcho-syndicalist transport workers paper "Sparks",
the union hierarchy in the railways burst into action to organise a
commuter awareness campaign to highlight the run down of the railways
which the rail bosses and the State Govt were trying to engineer with
the enterprise agreement. Whilst the Sparks network played a critical
role in assisting militants agitation and exposure of the nefarious
aspects of the enterprise agreement amongst the grass roots on the job
throughout the CityRail Network in NSW and according to reports this
agitation was well recieved. Consequently the enterprise agreement
which would fast track privatisation moves and the eventual imposition
of individual contracts on rail workers was overwhelmingly defeated in
the ballot - by 85% amongst carriage cleaners and 65% amongst station
staff. A renewed attempt by the bosses to "bulldoze" through the
restructuring is expected after the NSW elections next year.
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