The bitter three-year saga over a new Enterprise Agreement for Rail Commissioner workers in South Australia has taken a toll on everyone involved – but perhaps no more than RTBU Delegate Enzo Fregona.
Enzo has been the forefront of the battle, doing his best to maintain solidarity in the workplace as the difficult negotiations dragged on and on – finally coming to an end with a majority ‘yes’ vote in a ballot at the beginning of December.
Enzo’s determination and personal sacrifice was recognised last week when he was named as the RTBU’s first-ever Delegate of the Year.
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver was on hand to present Enzo with his award, and to thank him for his hard work.
“Enzo Fregona exemplifies everything that is noble and worthy about union delegates and the role they play in workplaces right across Australia,” Dave said.
RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva said Enzo had stood firm in the face of enormous pressure to defend the rights of his work colleagues
“South Australian Rail Commissioner workers have had everything thrown at them over the past few years - from belligerent bosses, to a cynical State Government, and divisions being caused in the workforce,
“Through it all, Enzo has stayed true to values – even when he was stood down from his jobs for merely protecting the Union noticeboard. He is truly a modern-day RTBU hero.”
RTBU SA/NT State Secretary Darren Phillips said Enzo’s passion to see the negotiations through to the end had been inspiring. “Rail Commissioner workers have now achieved things like shift harmonisation, national qualifications, and WAD conditions.
“It was a long and hard road, but we wouldn’t have got there without the courage and loyalty of Enzo and the rest of the negotiating team," Darren said.
As the man himself, he humbly said the award was recognition of the determination of all his fellow Rail Commissioner workers to get a fair deal.
“I’m very proud to be a part the RTBU, because without unions there’d be no-one sticking up for workers and their rights,” Enzo said.