RTBU Melbourne
Hundreds of RTBU members marched through Melbourne in support of the train and tram workers

Transport workers’ union wins 14 percent wage increase in Australia

The Victoria branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), Australia, has won at 14 percent wage increase from Metro Trains Melbourne and Yarra Trams after determined industrial action in August and September.

The Victoria branch of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), Australia, has won at 14 percent wage increase from Metro Trains Melbourne and Yarra Trams after determined industrial action in August and September.

The new four year Enterprise Agreement (EA) also includes a one-off 3 percent payment for the delivery of all-night public transport from 2016, improved dispute resolution clauses and job security provisions.

Luba Grigorovitch, RTBU Victoria branch secretary, said: “All in all the new EA will deliver fairer conditions and a vastly improved work-life balance for Metro’s workers.

“We warmly thank Mac [Urata] and the ITF and all transport unions for their support and solidarity. This showed that if workers stand together they can win any dispute with an employer or government.”

Ninety eight percent of RTBU members voted to take action for the first time in 18 years after negotiations with Metro and Yarra broke down.

Melbourne’s public transport system was shut down by four-hour work stoppages, followed by partial work bans. On 4 September hundreds of RTBU members marched through Melbourne and the companies’ approach to bargaining changed for the better.

ITF inland transport secretary Mac Urata congratulated the union on their victory. The ITF had sent a solidarity letter to the union and encouraged its affiliates in Hong Kong to send messages of support, as Metro is owned by Hong Kong-based MTR.

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