Metro Trains Sydney maintenance workers are today celebrating after a long-running battle for more than $500,000 in unpaid wages was successfully resolved with help from Unions NSW.
Unions NSW lodged the dispute in September, after MTS refused to pay more than 9 months worth of allowances and leave loading, originally promised to 32 staff in the lead-up to a finalised Employment Agreement.
The group had commenced work in July 2019, in order to help get new Metro North West train services up and running, and felt betrayed when their back-pay requests weren’t fully honoured by MTS.
Today, each worker’s bank balance is on average $10,000 better off, after a union-led case lodged in Fair Work Australia, resulted in a final payout of over $330,000 (plus superannuation).
Mark Morey, Secretary of Unions NSW said he’s proud that the workers – drawn from the ranks of RTBU, AMWU and ETU – took decisive action to protect their wages. He worried the complex dispute, over legal terms and definitions “was going nowhere” until the union movement became involved.
“This outcome shows the real benefits when union members come together to protect their pay and conditions. I am proud that action by unions was able to convince MTS to do the right thing by its staff” he said.
He warns the case is not isolated.
“As budgets tighten, we are seeing government agencies and businesses increasingly playing Scrooge with the pay and conditions of staff” he warned.
He believes workers everywhere can learn from the successful outcome today.
“These union members took the brave step to seek justice in the Fair Work Commission, and the results in their pay packets speak volumes. I’m proud of their solidarity and the vital example they set for workers everywhere in NSW, who are all working harder than ever to keep services running during Covid-19” he said.