"Royals set for a tour in new supertrain, the AXT ... a royal rural
of LOCO at
Chullora Railway Workshops
Loco tells the story of a day in the lives of a group
of railway workers at the State Rail Authority's Chullora Workshops, south
west of Sydney. The action follows their daily routine, working on a new
locomotive, which is being specially prepared as a "rush job"
for an approaching royal tour. George, the foreman, pushes the workers
to get the job done and they respond with good-humoured ribbing and antics.
One worker, Abdu, announces that his wife has given birth to their first
child and hands around cigars. Kenny, the apprentice, brags about his
new girlfriend, who thinks he drives a BMW and works for a flashy advertising
Practical jokes, home spun advice to fellow workers, and discussions about
the way things used to be on the railways, all combine to create a picture
of people in their working "home". The matters on the workers'
minds provide the play with its tension and pace.
Loco is not a celebration of workers' experiences in
the traditional industrial workplace.
It is not trying to record for posterity the place such work has held
in our culture for the past 200 years. Rather it was a process of combining
the talents of workers from industry and the arts, to examine and reveal
the experience of industrial work - how it affects people, how they incorporate
it into their lives, and therefore what role it plays in our society.
Projects like Loco continue the tradition of the culture of working life,
in expressing the experiences and hopes of workers. Blue collar and white
collar workers alike are feeling the effects of electronic technology
in their workplaces. If working people are to be given any say in shaping
the future of our society, an essential factor will be to understand how
our lives are being manipulated by decisions about the future nature of
work and the workplace.