Aurizon workers take strike action

Queensland coal trains were stranded yesterday after Aurizon workers went on a 24-hour strike.

The work stoppage affected depots at Callimondah (Gladstone), Rockhampton and Bluff, east of Blackwater.

The action comes after a decision by the Fair Work Commission last week that allows Aurizon to terminate 12 expired enterprise bargaining agreements covering 6000 employees.

A full bench of the Fair Work commission found in favour of Aurizon, forcing workers back onto the rail industry award as of May 18.

The commission found in favour of Aurizon on grounds that the business needed to remain competitive.

Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU)state secretary Owen Doogan said the union had lodged an appeal against the decision in the Federal Court.

"We are looking for a judicial review of the decision," Doogan said.

"We are asking for the appeal to be heard before May 18, when the old agreements will be terminated."

Doogan said further strike action could occur in the coming weeks subject to negotiations.

"We want to negotiate a settlement. If Aurizon is prepared to negotiate, we will not seek further action.

"We have been seeking negotiations for more than a year and while some progress has been made, things are not moving fast enough as far as we are concerned."

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