Melbourne's Tram Network Is Gearing Up for Another Two Days of Strikes
The two four-hour, network-wide strikes follow failed negotiations between Yarra Trams and the Rail Tram and Bus Union.
It's been a tumultuous few months for Melbourne's public transport system — and it's far from over. Today, it was announced that the entire tram network will again shut down for four hours on Tuesday, January 28 and Thursday, January 30.
The strikes follows previous four-hour stoppages in August, September, October, November and December and are in response to ongoing failed negotiations with Yarra Trams. While the strikes will happen in off-peak times and, thankfully, not on Fridays, they're still expected to cause some public transport havoc — so, best dust off that ol' bike and get set for some two-wheeled travel.
The strikes are expected to run from 10am–2pm, with no metropolitan tram services operating between these hours. If you were planning on heading to the Australian Open on these days, the stoppages could be particularly disruptive, but RBTU Brand Secretary Luba Grigorovitch said it had "no other option". "We have not taken industrial action for two months because we did not want to inconvenience the public over the Christmas period," said Grigorovitch. "However, now Yarra Trams has left us no choice."
The Rail Tram and Bus Union has been at loggerheads with Yarra Trams for months over its proposal to increase the number of part-time workers, which, Grigorovitch says, would "substantially reduce terms and conditions for its workforce".
The off-peak strikes are designed to minimise the impact on commuters, but industrial action could continue to escalate if negotiations are not unresolved.
The strikes are expected to run from 10am–2pm on Tuesday, January 28 and Thursday, January 30. To plan alternative transport during these times, head to the PTV website.
Image: Josie Withers for Visit Victoria
Published on January 17, 2020 by Libby Curran