Trammies strike over enterprise bargaining

Issue 

Trammies strike over enterprise bargaining

By Tully Bates

MELBOURNE — More cuts are foreshadowed in the latest enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) members of the tram division of the Public Transport Union are being asked to sign.

The EBA, to which the PTU leadership has given in-principle agreement, requires trade-offs of conditions in return for a meagre 2.6% pay rise. These include the introduction of fortnightly pay (currently weekly), voluntary overtime to be worked on top of normal rostered work and a six-day roster. The agreement has not yet been voted on by PTU members.

"If we accept voluntary overtime, there will be nothing stopping management from working us 14 hours a day, seven days a week", one union member at Brunswick depot told Green Left Weekly.

On August 16, tram workers walked off the job after management put up notices at depots claiming that the trade-offs had been agreed to by the union. Services were restored the following morning after the Industrial Relations Commission ordered the PTU back to work. The Public Transport Corporation agreed to retract the notices.