Rail union bosses urged to call off ‘silly’ strike threat

Rail union bosses are being urged to ‘think of hardworking commuters’ and immediately call off their threat of industrial action which could cause widespread commuter chaos amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) bosses – who are demanding 4 per cent per year pay rises over the next 4 years for train drivers and other rail staff – are set to ballot their members ahead of possible stop-work action next month.

The union – which lodged a long list of claims for other entitlements, including taxpayer-funded private car wash and travel allowances – is seeking member support for industrial action including, but not limited to:

  • An unlimited number of stop-work action for 4, 12 or 24 hours;
  • Industrial action in the form of interrupting or stopping work to ‘put on an RTBU branded facemask’;
  • Bans on wearing company uniform to work (excluding personal protective equipment);
  • Indefinite bans on working overtime; and
  • Interrupting or stopping work to give announcements at regular intervals over train announcement systems of a script provided by the RTBU

Treasurer Rob Lucas said strike action would do nothing other than severely disrupt and disadvantage hardworking commuters and those most in need in our community in the middle of a global pandemic.

“For union bosses to go out of their way to cause even more distress and disruption to public transport passengers who are just trying to get on with their lives and go to and from work, or school, safely is not only callous – it’s counter-productive,” said Mr Lucas.

“No amount of strike action will give the Government any extra money to spend on unreasonable salary increases.

“The union bosses must do the right thing and immediately put a stop to this silliness and return to negotiations in good faith.

“It’s also time former Shoppies’ union boss, Labor leader Peter Malinauskas, spoke to his union boss mates at the RTBU and urged them to end this strike threat.”

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