About Pacific National
Pacific National is an Australia’s private rail freight operator that provides rail freight services. The company transports bulk commodities and containerized freight, including coal, steel, agricultural products, construction materials, fuel, waste, chemicals, and refrigerated produce. It is based in North Sydney, New South Wales.
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Latest Pacific National News
Nov 25, 2022
Copy Rail, Tram and Bus Union members employed at Pacific National in Newcastle yesterday for a mass meeting before their union representatives and the company began talks under Deputy President Tony Saunders. THE industrial dispute between the state's biggest freight train company Pacific National and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union has entered its second day, stopping coal shipments with a potential value of $100 million or more a day. As the Newcastle Herald reported yesterday , the RTBU says Pacific National (PN) has "selectively locked out" hundreds of locomotive drivers in its coal and bulk (non-containerised) cargo division. A union spokesperson said the industrial action had widened today, Friday, because PN had sent letters of demand to staff employed as terminal operators, as well as the drivers who were the only ones involved in the original "lockout". IN THE NEWS: "Terminal operators are drivers who don't leave the depot, and our industrial action was originally only for train drivers," a union spokesperson said this morning. "By sending the letter, apparently inadvertently, to the terminal operators, they have effectively drawn them into the dispute and our members are within their rights not to work. "They've been ringing the terminal operators one by one asking them to come in, but our understanding is that many have not." The union spokesperson confirmed that those who were not working were on strike and would not be paid. Part of the Pacific National train terminal at Greta. The union says terminal operators are also now involved in a dispute that was originally only drivers. It says terminal operators are drivers who do not leave the depot, and are involved in various tasks including marshalling. Picture by Marina Neil Although the dispute is state wide, much of the impact would be in the Hunter, where coal and grain is rail-hauled to the Port of Newcastle for export. By coincidence, rail track operator Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) had closed the main northern line between Narrabri and Newcastle on Tuesday for routine maintenance that was scheduled to end at 6.30 this morning. This had minimised the external impact of the Pacific National stoppage, but the union spokesperson said the fact the system was operational again added to "the urgency" of the talks. The spokesperson said "assisted bargaining" that began in Newcastle yesterday with the involvement of Fair Work Commission's Deputy President Tony Saunders resumed this morning. The spokesperson said all parties knew what was at stake in terms of the lost business while industrial action was under way, and the main sticking point remained "pay. The lockout controversy became public knowledge on Thursday morning when the union announced its members had been locked out for enforcing a protected industrial action in the form of a ban on driving trains the union says are short of designated safety equipment. PN responded by saying the union was using "outdated" standards in arguing this equipment should be on every loco in a multi-loco freight train. The union said the company had sent the above-mentioned letters to employees saying that if they were not willing to do all of their duties, they were not wanted at work. Although PN disputes the term, the union says this meets the definition of a lockout under the relevant section of the Fair Work Act. The Pacific National lockout follows on the heels of tug company Svitzer moving to lock out its tug crews in 17 ports including Newcastle - a development that was stopped last Friday when a full bench of the Fair Work Commission ordered a six-month suspension of industrial action by either the company or the three unions involved in the dispute. On recent prices for Hunter coal, the amount of product moved, on average, from the mines to the port, is worth at least $150 million, with the Minerals Council of NSW putting the figure at $200 million a day. Pacific National is the biggest coal haulier in NSW with up to two-thirds of the NSW market, meaning the coal it would haul, on average, every day, could be worth $100 million or more. Deputy President Tony Saunders of the Fair Work Commission shortly before he began assisting the parties in Newcastle yesterday. Picture by Ian Kirkwood WHAT DO YOU THINK? We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on the Newcastle Herald website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. Sign up for a subscription here . Share
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Where is Pacific National's headquarters?
Pacific National's headquarters is located at 15 Blue Street, North Sydney.
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