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Rail, tram and bus workers strike over poor pay

Rail, tram and bus workers in Melbourne are striking over pay that falls well short of the union’s claim.

Tram workers walked off the job this week as a dispute with the operator over wages and conditions drags on. Train workers have also staged a number of strikes to get some ground on issues.

‘It’s the only avenue that we’ve got and it’s worked and that’s what the law’s designed to do’ said Phil Alteri from the Rail Tram and Bus Union.

The company’s proposal cuts rostered days off, penalty rates for part-time station staff and established train drivers’ rostering practices. Significantly, it wants to break up the entire rail network into six or seven smaller sections. The drastic plan is an attempt to deskill train drivers and weaken their industrial power. It also presents a number of serious safety concerns said the union. 

Members at stop work meetings this week spoke “in volumes”. ‘They’ve made it clear that the offer on the table is not good enough,’ the union said. 

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