SA strike still on agenda despite back step

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    ALTHOUGH a minor battle has been won, South Australian participants are still knuckling down for war!

    Following last week’s announcement from Harness Racing SA of their intention to cut prizemoney by five per cent, licence holders instantly swung into action.

    Not only did they voice their disgust of the latest “kick in the guts” by the governing body, they declared their plan to revolt in the form of a strike the day the stake cuts come into effect.

    Just to recap, HRSA stated they will impose a “levy” to be deducted from prizemoney as part of its “undertaking responsibility for all race day operations at Globe Derby Park”.

    The cut is poised to begin on November 1 and it will be deducted from gross advertised prizemoney for each race before disbursements are made to winning owners, trainers and drivers.

    As a result of the backlash and negative publicity, HRSA released the following statement just moments ago: “Following further consideration, the HRSA Board wishes to advise that the industry levy will be reviewed at its next meeting on Wednesday 28 October 2015. The Board will then advise its position after the meeting.

    “HRSA is appreciative of the significant comment and feedback from industry participants in relation to this matter.”

    According to multiple premiership winning trainer Jonathon Kingston-Mayne, the review is not enough to stop the proposed strike.

    In fact, a meeting for all participants has been organised at Globe Derby on Sunday beginning at 2pm to discuss the strike and other possible actions.

    “At the meeting we will be going over lot more issues than just levy,” Kingston-Mayne said. “There are so many things they’ve done, or are doing, that we as an industry have had enough of.

    “They’ve had a free rein for too long and have to start being held accountable at both board and management levels.

    “Unless we get a definitive answer that the prizemoney cuts have been withdrawn, the strike will go ahead.

    “If they think a review next week, with a likely answer of ‘we will get back to you’ is going to suffice, then they’re wrong.

    “They can’t string us along, let the cuts kick in, and think we will forget about it…it has to be a clear answer before the cuts start or we will strike.”

    • PAUL COURTS

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