Metro Train workers vow to shut down rail network in early October strikes

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Metro Trains staff say they will walk off the job and shut down Melbourne’s rail network in two four-hour strikes set for early October as part of an escalating pay dispute.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union said late on Thursday afternoon it had notified Metro of its intention to strike between 10am and 2pm on Friday, October 6 and on Wednesday, October 11.

Rail workers say they will start strike action in early October. Credit: Angela Wylie

Rail signallers, train controllers, stations and customer service staff, and authorised officers will take part in the protected industrial action, the union said.

Train drivers are not involved at this stage, but the rail network will still grind to a halt without those other operational workers.

The union said it gave Metro 15 days’ notice in the hope that would be enough time to break a deadlock over a new enterprise bargaining agreement, while also giving the public enough notice to make alternative travel plans.

“The RTBU will continue to meet with Metro and negotiate in good faith as members would prefer to avoid industrial action if their concerns are addressed,” Victorian branch secretary Vik Sharma said.

“In the current climate of automation, major changes and an uncertain economy, members are fighting for what all workers across Victoria deserve. We make no apologies in our fight to secure decent conditions for our members.”

Enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations have been underway since March.

Metro has been contacted for comment.

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