Australia: No barrier to free train travel next week as union steps up pay fight - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaNo barrier to free train travel next week as union steps up pay fight

09:35  05 august  2019
09:35  05 august  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

Melbourne train strike looms: Rail workers vote for industrial action

Melbourne train strike looms: Rail workers vote for industrial action Melbourne's trains could stop for up to 48 hours after thousands of train drivers, station workers and signal operators have overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action in a fight for better pay. Within the next 30 days, 3000 workers running Melbourne's city rail network could stop checking myki tickets, refuse to wear their uniforms, or walk off the job. Ninety-nine per cent of rail workers with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) voted in favour of industrial action on Monday afternoon.

Most train travel during weekends and bank holidays is Off-Peak. Trains during these times are generally less busy with cheaper tickets available.** Exact Super Off-Peak train times can vary across routes and train companies, but they’re usually the least busy travel periods during the week .

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No barrier to free train travel next week as union steps up pay fight© Meredith O'Shea The barriers will be open on Monday.

Commuters will be able to ride the trains for free on the next two Mondays as the transport workers union wages a week of industrial action against Metro Trains in a fight for better pay.

On Monday August 12 and August 19, station staff will keep ticket barriers open all day, while authorised officers will refuse to check myki tickets.

Booking office staff will also refuse to sell and upload myki cards while up to 3000 members will refuse to wear their uniform indefinitely.

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The Rail, Tram and Bus Union is demanding a 6 per cent pay rise while Metro Trains is offering a 2 per cent increase.

The union's Victorian Branch Secretary Luba Grigorovitch describes these as ‘‘lighter’’ actions taken by the union, which is also threatening a strike of up to 48 hours if key demands are not met.

‘‘This industrial action is aimed at Metro’s hip pocket, not the travelling public,’’ Ms Grigorovitch said.

‘‘The RTBU is seeking to keep the public well informed of any impacts ahead of any industrial action, however these action items announced today are designed to target Metro and will not impact commuters’ ability to catch the train.’’

From Monday, August 12 to Sunday, August 18, train drivers will also refuse to divert services if they are asked to do so by their managers.

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This is in effect a ban on station skipping and diversions around the city loop, as well as short shunting of trains which are practices that help Metro achieve its performance targets but should have been stamped out under the current seven-year contract with the government.

Train drivers will also refuse to operate trains that do not have working passenger emergency intercoms and refuse to update Metro management of any non-safety critical information.

Union members will also refuse to participate in any training for the High Capacity Metro Trains over the week.

More to come

Train strikes lifted after 'constructive conversations'.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union has called off two scheduled strikes, but a four-hour stoppage 'remains on the table'.

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