Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

Sydney Morning Herald attacks rail workers

Feb 6, 2012News

Last week the Sydney Morning Herald ran an editorial attacking rail workers, and backing calls for station staff and train guards to be sacked.

RTBU Branch Secretary Alex Claassens sent a letter of response to the newspaper, but the gutless newspaper refused to publish it.

You won’t see it in the Sydney Morning Herald, but you can read Alex’s letter here:

The editorial in the SMH (Rail minister on right track, 3/2) resorts to cheap clichés, well-worn myths and insults to justify a wholesale attack on rail workers and services.

Rail workers are overwhelmingly proud of the service they provide to commuters.

We don’t just talk about a job on the railways, we talk about life on the railways – because our careers are so much more than just a job.

When detached outsiders attack rail workers, they almost always do so from a position of ignorance and prejudice, and from behind a comfortable desk.

I challenge the Editor of the SMH to walk a mile in our shoes – to spend night scrubbing filthy trains with RailCorp cleaners, a shift behind the controls of a train, or a day tackling drunk or drug affected passengers with the Transit Officers and Train Guards.

As for the so-called inefficiency of the RailCorp network – the problem is not a ‘bloated’ workforce, it is crumbling and out-dated infrastructure that has been left to wither by successive governments.

Blaming the workers is an easy way out for politicians who are not prepared to take responsibility themselves.

Slashing jobs will not improve rail services in NSW.  Investing in a better network will.

Alex Claassens

Secretary – Rail, Tram and Bus Union (NSW)

If the Sydney Morning Herald is prepared to launch an attack on rail workers, then it’s only a matter of time until it comes after bus drivers as well.

You can send your own letter of disgust to the Sydney Morning Herald by emailing them at letters@smh.com.au.