Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Driver Vote May Lead to Greater Union Rifts Drivers Voting on Future; the Plan Would See Electricians and Train Drivers Unite

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Driver Vote May Lead to Greater Union Rifts Drivers Voting on Future; the Plan Would See Electricians and Train Drivers Unite

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Smith emily.smith@dailymercury.com.au

TRAIN drivers have six days left to vote on a proposal that may spark division between some of the state's unions.

On March 13 voting closes on a plan to amalgamate two unions - the Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Employees Queensland and the much larger Electrical Trades Union.

It's a move supported by AFULE Queensland state secretary Greg Smith, even though it would see 1300 train drivers outnumbered by the 16,000 ETU members in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Yet insiders believe another union, the Rail Tram and Bus Union, has long held ambitions to take over the AFULE, and the alliance may deepen divisions between union groups.

The state level union group merger, that would form the Electrical Trades Union of Employees, was announced in November last year.

Mr Smith was quick to offload any suggestion the merger would be a lifeline for the smaller train drivers' union, claiming it was "in no trouble whatsoever".

And yet, the electrical union believed the deal may "prevent it from disappearing".

But it was generally accepted that by tethering the train drivers' group to the more powerful electrical union it would have better access to funding and resources. The electrical union would also benefit from the injection into its membership base.

Train drivers' union state secretary Greg Smith visited Mackay last week, to brief about 60-70 drivers on the idea.

He said the general consensus was the move would be "a good thing", particularly as it would give members access to the electrical union's regional representatives, as they currently only had delegates in Brisbane.

However, a flyer has been distributed to media organisations urging train drivers to "vote no" to the planned merger.

"We spent the last 30 years stopping the RTBU from making AFULE drivers just a minority inside a bigger railway union," the flyer states. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.