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Metro Trains staff to strike for better pay and conditions

A union says Metro has failed to address concerns in enterprise bargaining talks for workers.

A union says Metro has failed to address concerns in enterprise bargaining talks for workers. Photo: AAP

Melbourne train workers will walk off the job on two separate days as they fight for better pay and conditions.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) on Thursday confirmed its Metro Trains members would take industrial action between 10am and 2pm on October 6 and October 11.

Operations staff including station and customer service staff, authorised officers, signallers and train controllers will be included in the strike action.

The union claims Metro has failed to address key concerns raised in enterprise bargaining negotiations that have been held since March.

“We understand that in the past four reporting years, Metro reported profits of over $200 million,” branch secretary Vik Sharma said.

“It’s time they recognise the hard work of front-line staff getting commuters home safely each day.”

There will be further meetings between the union and Metro as they try to reach a resolution.

“Members would prefer to avoid industrial action if their concerns are addressed,” Mr Sharma said.

“We are focused on minimising the impacts of industrial action on the travelling public and encourage commuters to plan their working weeks accordingly where possible.”

CEO Raymond O’Flaherty said Metro Trains was “extremely disappointed” the union had decided to take industrial action.

“We strongly urge the RTBU to withdraw the industrial action, and instead work with us to get an agreement done,” he said on Thursday night.

“We have offered a competitive pay increase and other improved terms to our employees and we are confident we can arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement.”

He said Metro was working through the implications of the industrial action and the impact it would have on passengers.

-AAP

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