Members of Melbourne's tram and bus division of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) are campaigning for a new enterprise agreement.
An emotional and highly charged stopwork meeting of hundreds of tram workers jammed into Trades Hall on August 27 to hear a report on their dispute with Yarra Trams. Yarra Trams and Metro Rail workers had called off a planned four-hour strike on August 21 in the hope that the companies would present the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) with a better offer. The better offer never came so the tram workers struck for four hours on August 27. This was the first tram strike since 1997.
After a huge amount of political pressure from the Victorian government, the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) agreed to postpone its August 21 tram and train strike, and Metro Rail and Yarra Trams agreed to return to the negotiating table. Had the strike gone ahead it would have been the first such strike in 18 years. RTBU members were clearly fed up with their respective train and tram companies, with 98% of railway workers and 99.4% of tram workers who returned ballots voting for industrial action.