The union representing transport workers has just announced fresh industrial action as part of an ongoing fight for better employee wages.
Thanks to this action, Melbourne commuters will score free train rides at points throughout this month. The action’s set to take place Monday, August 12th, and Monday, August 19th.
Over the coming two Mondays, Melbourne train station employees will leave ticketing barriers opening. In solidarity with their fight for better wages, they’ll also refuse to sell or top-up myki tickets.
Metro’s Authorised Officer/Ticket Inspectors won’t check tickets. And, in a first, train drivers will refuse to divert services or skip stations – a tactic taken on my Metro Trains to ensure it hits its beloved performance targets.
This is all in a move pushing for a 6 per cent pay rise. According to The Age, Metro Trains is negotiating an offer of a 2 per cent pay rise.
The Public Transport Users Association estimates that the myki-free days could cost the government as much as $1 million a day, when taking into account the high proportion of the 500,000 daily train users who are using a concession card or have passes.
“This industrial action is aimed at Metro’s hip pocket, not the travelling public,” said union secretary Luba Grigotovitch in a statement on Monday.
The representative continues, “The RTBU is seeking to keep the public well informed of any impacts ahead of any industrial action, however these action items announced today are designed to target Metro and will not impact commuters’ ability to catch the train.”
Reportedly, Metro Trains employees are also threatening a strike of up to 48 hours, provided their demands aren’t met come action time.
But, Metro Trains isn’t happy with the moves of its workers. A representative has described the action as “a very disappointing action”.