A V/Line Customer Service Manager at Geelong Station has unfairly targeted conductors wearing cargo pants.
Despite similarities with pants made available to drivers, V/Line has argued that cargo pants do not constitute V/Line uniform. But the way the issue has been approached has been a far cry from professional.
When five Geelong conductors chose to wear cargo pants in response to concerns that company issued pants for conductors are uncomfortable, provide no resistance to wind in winter and have been reported to cause skin irritation, an email was circulated to staff locally reinforcing the compulsory use company issued uniform.
This prompted members to write to the regional manager seeking a review of the uniform policy for the more robust pants to be added to the uniform order form.
Despite commonplace variations, irregularities and special considerations given for different uniform needs across the network, it was only following this letter that a local CSM decided to threaten these particular members with disciplinary action over uniform compliance.
The union got involved and negotiated with the regional manager to allow the cargo pants to be worn until additional uniform became available, and that the issue be addressed with senior management. Senior management have since agreed to review the conductor uniform choices and permitted the cargo pants until the matter is resolved.
Unfortunately, this progress on the matter at various levels didn’t stop the CSM from again threatening the women with disciplinary action after being told of the arrangement not once, but twice.
Union officials have made it clear to V/Line we will not tolerate this kind of targeted discrimination and victimisation against our members.
We will keep you updated as the matter progresses.
If you have experienced an issue with uniform, discrimination, bullying, harassment or victimisation please reach out to the RTBU office or your Organiser.