PLAYMAKER
The Playmaker
Let's play
PLAYMAKER
  • It's Saturday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Melbourne
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?
  • LET'S PLAY
TRAVEL & LEISURE

Melbourne's Tram Network Is Gearing Up for Six More Strikes Next Month

The Rail Tram and Bus Union is ramping up its strikes in response to failed negotiations with Yarra Trams.
By Libby Curran
February 13, 2020
  shares

Melbourne's Tram Network Is Gearing Up for Six More Strikes Next Month

The Rail Tram and Bus Union is ramping up its strikes in response to failed negotiations with Yarra Trams.
By Libby Curran
February 13, 2020
  shares

Melbourne's tram network has been hit by a stack of stoppages over the last six months, as the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) takes regular strike action in response to failed negotiations with Yarra Trams. The two groups have been locked in an ongoing dispute as the RTBU tries to wrangle a better wage deal and improved working conditions for tram staff. But, it seems the two are no closer to reaching an agreement, with news the city can expect eight more tram strikes in the coming weeks.

The RTBU yesterday announced plans to hold six new four-hour stoppages across March, with tram staff taking industrial action from 10am–2pm on Tuesday, March 3, Thursday, March 5, Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, and between 12–4pm on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15. These new strikes are in addition to the two already planned for February 17 and 20 next week.

On Monday 17 February and Thursday 20 February, no Yarra Trams will run between 10am and 2pm due to industrial action. See all your travel options and get more info here: https://bit.ly/2HeDNdD

Posted by Public Transport Victoria on Tuesday, 11 February 2020

According to the union, the newly announced industrial action comes in response to Yarra Trams' plans to up its part-time tram staff and reduce the number of full-timers, and, as a result, reducing how much overtime and penalty it pays. It's a move the RTBU says would slash staff take-home pay by up to $9.69 million per year, or an average of around $7000 for each full-time driver.

This new round of tram stoppages is likely to cause some chaos for those travelling to and from the Formula One Australian Grand Prix, which runs from March 12 to 15. And it's not the first time Melbourne sports fans have had to deal with the fallout from the RTBU's strikes — last month saw two earlier tram stoppages coincide with the Australian Open finals.

During the tram strikes, Public Transport Victoria suggests commuters defer all non-essential travel and consider alternative modes of public transport. Trains, buses and V/Lines will be running as normal during the industrial action, but may be extra busy. To plan your trip, check the PTV website.

With negotiations still under way, it's possible none or some of the strikes will go ahead. We'll let you know either way.

Tram strikes are expected to run from 10am–2pm on February 17 and 20, from 10am–2pm on Tuesday, March 3, Thursday, March 5, Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, and from 12-4pm on Saturday, March 14, and Sunday, March 15. To plan alternative transport during these times, head to the PTV website.

Image: Josie Withers for Visit Victoria

Published on February 13, 2020 by Libby Curran

  •   shares
      shares
  • VIEW COMMENTS
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter