VIC PT strikes continue

The PT chaos continues with rail staff to strike again as union ups the ante in Victoria

Further strain will be placed on Melbourne’s bus network when Metro Trains staff strike for another four hours on Thursday next week.

Negotiations have broken down again this week resulting in the announcement of further action their continued campaign for a fair enterprise agreement, the announced this week.

Victorian minister for public transport Jacinta Allen has condemned the latest round of strikes as disruptive and unnecessary, yet the union insist and persist.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) secretary Luba Grigorovitch is adamant there is no option but to strike again even introducing new tactics to pressure Metro into making workers a better pay and conditions offer.

"We have continued to meet with the company to bargain through the parties’ claims, but Metro seems adamant about stripping away important working conditions in areas such as the length of the working day, overtime, rostering and disciplinary procedures," she says.

New tactics include refusing to wear company uniforms, a ban on inspecting Myki tickets on trains on AFL grand final day (Friday, October 2), non-reporting of late running trains and a refusal to skip stations.

"We have continued to negotiate with the company, having held off for two weeks from taking further strike action, with our efforts focused on looking for compromise, but Metro still seems to want it all," Grigorovitch says.

 The planned industrial action was aimed at Metro’s hip pocket, not the travelling public, according to the RTBU.

"Metro’s practice of altering train timetables at the last minute and skipping stations just so that it can receive bonus payments from the government will be a target of the bans," Grigorovitch says.

"These actions will send a clear message to Metro that it needs to acknowledge the contribution our members make."

Negotiations are still ongoing with Yarra Trams with no further strike action announced at this stage.

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