This should not be seen as attack on conditions of those driving trains in revenue service or other outside the yard conditions.
The status quo in Victoria is that the rail system manager (just avoiding the term Operator for clarity here) employs Drivers for all tasks that involve moving trains. Doesn't matter whether you like this arrangement or not, that's the way it is and has been for a long time. All the pay, conditions and other bits of the present EBA have evolved from this status quo over generations.
So, when it comes to the introduction of a new train fleet, where are the motives? How could the parties involved have protected these rights if that was really their aim?
The state government could have insisted that Project Co hand over the depot to Metro for operation.
Metro could have insisted that its drivers drive trains within the depot.
The state government could have insisted that depot operators be contracted from Metro by some complex arrangement.
None of this occurred. The status quo has been deliberately and selectively undermined in order to shoehorn in a new class of worker under a new company and a new EBA so FWA can be convinced it is within the law.
If it works, you can bet your bottom dollar the trick will be repeated with the Metro Tunnel, the airport rail line, pretty much any new infrastructure.
What's the end result? Those hard fought conditions are completely worthless.
If you think I'm being alarmist, this is precisely how Qantas began to employ flight attendants under less generous contracts after their privatisation. Shell companies were set up, WorkChoices was exploited, EBAs were rewritten, and now only a few staff retain that their competitors fought for decades to build up.