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Commuters Will Get Two Days of Free Travel as Part of Melbourne's Train Strike

For two Mondays this month, barriers will be open and no one will be checking your Myki tickets.
By Libby Curran
August 06, 2019
By Libby Curran
August 06, 2019

If your daily commute involves catching the train, you're set to get some free rides on Monday, August 12, and Monday, August 19, as Victoria's public transport union confirms dates for its much-discussed strike.

After 99 percent of members voted last week in support of taking industrial action, the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) yesterday announced that its rail strike will go ahead.

While Mondays are usually never fun, the next couple are set to be especially painful for Metro Trains...and a little cheaper for Melbourne train passengers. On August 12 and 19, RTBU members will keep ticket barriers open and refuse to sell, upload or check Myki cards, all day long.

Today, the RTBU has notified Metro Trains of the following protected industrial action to begin next week!#UnitedWeStand #DividedWeFall

Posted by RTBU Victoria on Sunday, 4 August 2019

Commuter-facing employees will scrap their uniforms indefinitely from August 12, too, and workers will refuse to participate in any training for Melbourne's soon-to-launch high-capacity trains between August 12–18. Between these dates, drivers will also refuse to operate any train that doesn't have fully operational public address systems and passenger emergency intercoms. And there'll be no skipping stations, alternate services running, or announcements by drivers to alert when their trains are running late.

The union, which supports over 35,000 members Australia wide, has seen months of failed negotiations with Metro Trains, while trying to secure a new enterprise agreement, cut a new wage deal and call for improved working conditions. "This industrial action is aimed at Metro's hip pocket, not the travelling public," explained RTBU Victorian Branch Secretary Luba Grigorovitch in a statement.

With negotiations still under way, it's possible no strike will go ahead, though only if Metro and the RTBU reach a satisfiable agreement in time.

Image: Josie Withers for Visit Victoria

Published on August 06, 2019 by Libby Curran
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