Melbourne train strike looms: Rail workers vote for industrial action

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 30 Jul 2019 08:57
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
According to Melbourne Radio today a strike of up to 48 hours is definitely looming which would cause major transport issues for the public.  It has been sometime since major industrial action has taken place grounding the network to a halt for a day.

Anyone remember when the last strike was?

Melbourne train strike looms: Rail workers vote for industrial action

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
2015, not exactly ancient history.

https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-04/melbourne-faces-transport-chaos-as-train-network-shuts-down/6748766?pfmredir=sm
potatoinmymouth

That suprises me PIMM as I thought it would have been a lot longer.  The Government working with Metro Trains will probably ensure the strike is called off in favour of the new pay deal.
  Lockie91 Train Controller

As much as the RTBU likes to paint it about being about the money it’s not.

As it stands the RTBU is a thorn in the Andrew’s Governments transport utopia. It’s is the archaic conditions and requirements that are holding the system back from operating more efficiently.

Both MM1 and the new Metro contract have clauses in them stating that both companies are not liable for delays caused by industrial action by the RTBU.

Back in 2015 Metro wanted to segregate drivers to the current groups that we see on PTV maps. RTBU wouldn’t have a bar of it. Sighting safety concerns on drivers on working on one or two lines. They ended up splitting the network in two.

Other things Metro and the government are trying to change is the requirement that drivers can only run one line once per shift in each direction. Making rostering and timetabling a nightmare.  

Driver change over at FFS, is the big ticket item that Metro is pushing for. The Government has been investing in driver facilities at the end of lines and at interchange stations like Dandenong and Ringwood. Metro wants to remove the majority of driver change over at FFS. Moving it out to the suburbs were delays can be better absorbed. This would make FFS a through station. Reducing delays caused by drivers on late running services that need to change lines.

This is one of the left overs from the 70’s when a lot of services came out of the loop and terminated at FFS before being shunted into Jolimont or Melbourne yards for the return peak service.

Other gripes by the RTBU is the introduction of HCMTS and there ability to shunt around PED without a driver. No longer will a driver on 120k a year need to work at a depot to move a train a few hundred meters to the workshop.

Interesting to see how much Metro gets its way, I doubt the government is going to let the RTBU derail its transport legacy.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
What's the acronym FFS...apart from being.. For F@cks Sake Question

M.
  stooge spark Train Controller

What's the acronym FFS...apart from being.. For F@cks Sake Question

M.
The Vinelander
Flagstaff F#cking station.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
As much as the RTBU likes to paint it about being about the money it’s not.

As it stands the RTBU is a thorn in the Andrew’s Governments transport utopia. It’s is the archaic conditions and requirements that are holding the system back from operating more efficiently.

Both MM1 and the new Metro contract have clauses in them stating that both companies are not liable for delays caused by industrial action by the RTBU.

Back in 2015 Metro wanted to segregate drivers to the current groups that we see on PTV maps. RTBU wouldn’t have a bar of it. Sighting safety concerns on drivers on working on one or two lines. They ended up splitting the network in two.

Other things Metro and the government are trying to change is the requirement that drivers can only run one line once per shift in each direction. Making rostering and timetabling a nightmare.  

Driver change over at FFS, is the big ticket item that Metro is pushing for. The Government has been investing in driver facilities at the end of lines and at interchange stations like Dandenong and Ringwood. Metro wants to remove the majority of driver change over at FFS. Moving it out to the suburbs were delays can be better absorbed. This would make FFS a through station. Reducing delays caused by drivers on late running services that need to change lines.

This is one of the left overs from the 70’s when a lot of services came out of the loop and terminated at FFS before being shunted into Jolimont or Melbourne yards for the return peak service.

Other gripes by the RTBU is the introduction of HCMTS and there ability to shunt around PED without a driver. No longer will a driver on 120k a year need to work at a depot to move a train a few hundred meters to the workshop.

Interesting to see how much Metro gets its way, I doubt the government is going to let the RTBU derail its transport legacy.
Lockie91
Be thankful we have them, I'm sure the workers are as They're keeping there conditions and rights upheld and making sure they're getting a fair go.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Other things Metro and the government are trying to change is the requirement that drivers can only run one line once per shift in each direction. Making rostering and timetabling a nightmare.
Lockie91
The existing practice is an important part of fatigue management. It prevents drivers from getting (for lack of a better word) 'complacent' running up and down the same line, which can lead to accidents (particularly if there are minor changes between runs on that shift). Metro roster officers are quite competent enough to deal with your so-called 'rostering nightmare'. It's not like it hasn't been this way for decades or anything.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
As much as the RTBU likes to paint it about being about the money
Lockie91
Nonsense, the only people making it all about money are the media and unfortunately gullible people believe them.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Moreover, it is disgraceful that conservative politicians and large sections of the media continue to make snide remarks about the salary of drivers compared to those of “teachers or nurses”.

Drivers are highly trained, highly skilled, work in difficult and dangerous conditions (not hyperbole – this is the 21st century and we recognise mental health as a workplace safety issue) and ultimately have a responsibility for human life not unlike that of a pilot or a ship’s captain. Yet these are not the comparisons made from the peanut gallery.

It is disingenuous and speaks volumes of the underlying attitude to service workers that the response to teachers and nurses being underpaid and undervalued is not to pay them what they are worth, but to pay train drivers less.

I catch hundreds of trains a year, and, as long as we have drivers – which will certainly be the rest of my lifetime – I am quite content knowing that my taxes and fares enable them to be well-paid, working in good conditions, and in the best of health.
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

I really hope this gets resolved.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Has strangely gone all quite so I suspect the government and metro are working in meetings to resolve?
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

I would suspect Vic Labor would be pretty keen to avoid anything that looks like a public spat with a union.

Murdoch media are pretty keen to put the boot into Dan Andrews and the unions any way they can, this'd be a two-fer.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

The headline came about as a result of the union membership vote, which is required for (I believe) Fair Work to approve any strike action. This just means the option is there should it be required if negotiations break down. Of course the media get wind of the vote and come up with ridiculous statements that it's going to happen at the next peak hour.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Not sure an EBA negotiation in the transport industry gets through without at least 1 strike, especially given how long negotiations have been going on.

Watch for metro to do what QR Rail i think it was (or was it Aurizon?) did and that let their EBA expire, have the fair work terminate the EBA, and then back to whatever is in the base award, which likely is a small fraction of whats in the EBA.

Expect part day strikes in the next 1-2 months in Melbourne. Tram workers could go out as well.
  Fatty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Not sure an EBA negotiation in the transport industry gets through without at least 1 strike, especially given how long negotiations have been going on.

Watch for metro to do what QR Rail i think it was (or was it Aurizon?) did and that let their EBA expire, have the fair work terminate the EBA, and then back to whatever is in the base award, which likely is a small fraction of whats in the EBA.

Expect part day strikes in the next 1-2 months in Melbourne. Tram workers could go out as well.
Galron
It was Aurizon and their situation was a little different as the EA they cancelled was made with a different entity - QR National. Metro won't be able to do that.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Strikes beginning monday.

  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
It’s funny. I remember reading these forums circa 2009 and the vitriol that was directed to train drivers for strikes was shocking. The whole media narrative was “these public service worker fat cats are going to ruin your day!!”. It seemed, many in the forums had similar views?

Perhaps it’s just my growing out of naïevity, or perhaps it’s the cacophony of noise in my echo chambers, but it seems to have changed. Now there seems to be genuine support for industrial action growing. I certainly feel like these forums have much less tolerance for the conservative drivel about ‘inefficiencies’ and ‘lost dividends’ which is fancy talk for “if we let the rich men cut all of our rights and safety standards maybe they’ll give us a 20¢ pay rise”. I’m pleased to see these changes, and know that a strong community exists supporting services workers who’re both vital for our economy, and through their assertion of safety as a priority avoid cost cutting exercises by corporates.

Only have to look at the experience of Argentina after the Once train disaster that led to 51 people being killed because of mismanagement by the private railway companies (all because of a drive to increase shareholder profits, as opposed to running an actual service to benefit the public).

THAT, is one of the many many many reasons people totally oppose privatisation of public assets. We paid for them, we should own them!
  GoldenGirl Station Master

It’s funny. I remember reading these forums circa 2009 and the vitriol that was directed to train drivers for strikes was shocking. The whole media narrative was “these public service worker fat cats are going to ruin your day!!”. It seemed, many in the forums had similar views?

Perhaps it’s just my growing out of naïevity, or perhaps it’s the cacophony of noise in my echo chambers, but it seems to have changed. Now there seems to be genuine support for industrial action growing. I certainly feel like these forums have much less tolerance for the conservative drivel about ‘inefficiencies’ and ‘lost dividends’ which is fancy talk for “if we let the rich men cut all of our rights and safety standards maybe they’ll give us a 20¢ pay rise”. I’m pleased to see these changes, and know that a strong community exists supporting services workers who’re both vital for our economy, and through their assertion of safety as a priority avoid cost cutting exercises by corporates.

Only have to look at the experience of Argentina after the Once train disaster that led to 51 people being killed because of mismanagement by the private railway companies (all because of a drive to increase shareholder profits, as opposed to running an actual service to benefit the public).

THAT, is one of the many many many reasons people totally oppose privatisation of public assets. We paid for them, we should own them!
ElliotProvis
"THAT, is one of the many many many reasons people totally oppose privatisation of public assets. We paid for them, we should own them!"

Especially as the money for the sell-off is simply used in pork-barelling by whoever happens to be in office at the time.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The newspaper today provides for the tram union now getting behind Metro Trains Strike.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
The newspaper today provides for the tram union now getting behind Metro Trains Strike.
bevans
The RTBU has a separate dispute with Yarra Trams over annual leave entitlements to the one they have with Metro Trains Melbourne. It is important to differentiate between the two disputes and their similar timing, as under Australia's onerous industrial relations laws sympathy strikes are illegal.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It'll be interesting to see whether Chairman Dan will take on the RBTU in the same manner that Bob Hawke did with the Pilot's Union in 1989. I have some sympathy for the train drivers, in my time living in Melbourne I saw drivers threatened by inebriated people. They work long shifts and Melbourne is a hell of an expensive place to live.

On the other hand the state of Victoria faces declining stamp duty and GST revenues and Comrade Dan has already maxed out the credit card building stuff that the Liberals wouldn't.

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