Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), State, Operations and Maintenance, Passenger Rail, Workforce and Training

More V/Line industrial action planned as talks falter

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The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has notified Victorian regional operator V/Line of its intention to take industrial action on Thursday, January 25. 

Operations staff — including conductors, train controllers, stations and customer service staff, and authorised officers — will walk off the job for four hours between 3am and 7am, bringing the network to a halt.

At this stage only non-driving grades will participate in the action.

The entire V/Line network across the state will be affected as workers take action to advance claims for their enterprise agreement.

RTBU Branch Secretary Vik Sharma said although bargaining since June last year, V/Line was yet to address key concerns that have been raised throughout the negotiations to date.

“This decision to further escalate the campaign comes after RTBU negotiating team met again with V/Line on Wednesday  January 10, with no progress being made on key issues,” he said.

“Bargaining representatives will continue to make themselves available to meet with V/Line management in a bid to drive progress on the dispute and avert the planned industrial action.

“The RTBU has provided V/Line with ample notice to have the outstanding matters resolved whilst providing travelling public with maximum notice to make alternative travel arrangements for the day.”

Sharma said that in the current climate of automation, major changes and an uncertain economy, members were fighting for what “all workers across Victoria deserve – job security and decent conditions”.

“V/Line continues to drag their feet and seems to be in no rush to reach an agreement,” he said.

“The RTBU will continue to meet with V/Line and negotiate in good faith as members would prefer to avoid industrial action if their concerns are addressed.

“V/Line needs to respect the frontline workers and stop treating them like numbers on a spreadsheet.

“We make no apologies in our fight to secure decent conditions for our members.”