More than 700 train services have been cancelled across Melbourne on Friday as part of the Rail, Train and Bus Union’s rolling industrial action against Metro Trains. Legal arguments from the two parties are expected to stretch into the night before Commissioner David Gregory, with Metro saying it needs to know by 10am on Wednesday if the strike is going ahead so it can make arrangements.
Chief executive Andrew Lezala said that was a “fantastic” offer and labelled the RTBU strike action a disgrace.
Fifty train services were cancelled up until 7.35 am as Metro workers walked off the job between 3 am and 4 am.
Whilst last week’s tram shutdown brought the city to a standstill, and effected a few inner-city suburbs that are largely reliant on tram transport to a standstill, the fact remains that Melbourne’s tram network only services a reasonably small percentage of commuters.
VicRoads is warning commuters to leave early to beat the congestion, or to stay at home.
More than 350 extra buses will help move passengers, while trams will be packed.
However, V/Line trains will bypass all Melbourne stations they would normally stop at, such as Sunshine, Footscray, Broadmeadows, Richmond and Dandenong.
Thanks to the ongoing industrial dispute between Melbourne’s Public Transport Drivers and their operating companies over pay and working conditions, the Victorian capital is set to be thrown into absolute chaos for the second consecutive week – and this time on a much larger scale.
Metro Trains failed in its attempt to block the industrial action following marathon talks at the Fair Work Commission.
“Metro needs to get back to the bargaining table and put forward something that is acceptable”, she said. If that’s the case, that would be a step in the right direction and, if that’s the case, there won’t be a need for any further stoppages, ‘ she told ABC Radio.