Struggle, Fight, Win

Rail Signal Electricians employed in SA by the Keolis Downer Adelaide fought an EBA campaign. Their ask – appropriate remuneration for the work they do; wage respect for their job and the skills required to do that job.

The enterprise bargaining agreement covering Rail Signal Electricians employed by Keolis Downer Adelaide in South Australia expired in February 2024. CEPU SA members wanted increased wages and better rostering and staffing arrangements as part of their claim to their employer when going into EBA negotiations.

Members entered tis negotiation in good faith but early on it was clear the employer was not willing to agree to the employer claims and appeared to be stalling the negotiations. No outcomes had been reached.

Members met and discussed the current situation with their organiser and it was decided that they would not accept the slow mobbing negotiations but would rather vote to take protected industrial action.

2024 is the second year South Australia would host the AFL Gather Round – a massive tourist attraction. The Gather Round is an event that sees a large number of locals and visitors utilising public transport, particularly trains, to attend the event.

Negations continued to drag along without acceptable outcomes reached. Given members had voted to take protected action, they were also aware that AFL Gather Round was coming up. To use this timing to their advantage, members decided to take two weeks of protected action with the first day of action coinciding with the first day of the AFL Gather Round.

Once the state government were made aware of the plan to take protected Action, and the significance of the impact this action would have, Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis requested the CEPU withdraw the action notices.

Members refused, instead challenging the Minister to step in and make Keolis Downer Adelaide come to the party.

In the early morning on the day the action was meant to take place, Keolis Downer Adelaide came to members with an offer, one the members were happy to accept.

You can read the approved EBA here.

More power to the mighty CEPU SA and well done to the members standing up and taking action to win what they deserve.

This article was publised on 31 May 2024.