Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Tram Strike. Everybody Out!

Everybody out, as the cry went out from the shop steward (union representative) in the classic 60s English comedy The Rag Trade.

This coming Friday there will be a strike by tram workers in Melbourne. Well, it is called a stop work meeting and will be from 10.00am to 2.00pm. There won't be any tram services for this period. It has been a long time since there has been a tram stop work meeting or a strike. Are we ready for it? Can we manage for four hours without our trams running?

It is not quite that simple and this will catch many people unawares with shorter memories than mine or no memory at all of a tram stop work meeting. They may well have heard of the tram stop work from 10 to 2, but the trams don't magically disappear from the tram tracks at 10 and reappear at 2 as if nothing has happened and suddenly everything is back to normal.

No, no, no. The tram drivers must back at their respective depots by 10 to stop working and ready to resume work at 2. This means the tram service will start winding down some time after 8 as trams head back to the depots from furthest points and full normal service is unlikely to resume until 4 at least.

Melburnians and visitors alike, you have been warned. Don't expect to hear ding ding for at least 6 hours. Rather a pity that Yarra Trams or PTV don't make mention of the wind down period.

25 comments:

  1. Sigh.
    Is there stop work warranted (as they so often are)?

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    1. EC, it is the bargaining period where industrial action can be taken in the negotiations of a new enterprise agreement. I would guess the tram operation company is being rather intransigent.

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  2. Oh dear! although I am supportivve of workers rights, I so dislike strikes.

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    1. Maribeth, much as I do, but trouble for local transport for one day is not so bad.

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  3. I remember climbing onto army trucks during a transit strike in Ireland when I was about 18. It never would happen today with liability insurance, etc. I had completely forgotten that memory. it seemed to go on for weeks. I think they were protesting the elimination of conductors on buses.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, what a hoot. Did a soldier pull you up onto the truck? We too had a four week tram strike over the removal of tram conductors in the 1990s.

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  4. I hope tram worker makes some good progress and get large percentage of what your asking for.
    Not sure in your area you have what we have in Idaho. Right to work states.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, workers here have a right to strike during negotiations of new work place agreements.

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  5. I presume that bicycle salesmen will do a roaring trade.

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    1. Cro, not sure about that, but our equivalent of Boris Bikes will see all bicycles at the top of hills.

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  6. I've never thought about a wind-down period before a stoppage. whenever I hear there is going to be a stoppage of any kind, bus, tram, train, I make other arrangements for whatever day it will be. Usually it just means I'll stay home and go somewhere another day. I can see the only ones affected will be those who don't work the regular 9-5 schedule, but they'll have other options. They've had plenty of warning.

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    1. River, yes, it will mostly be the casual users who are affected.......like us. But we can walk. Like you, we will make sure we have other arrangements for the day. Sadly they don't have warning of the wind down and wind up period.

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  7. Welcome to the club ! we have all 5 minutes bus or tram strikes, for all kind of reasons, if I want to have the personal of buses on strike, I just have to give him a slap in the face and there are no buses running for the day anymore. this is not a joke it really happened ! Belgium is champion of Europe in strikes ! Mostly on Fridays so they have a long weekend !

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  8. With "him" I mean the bus driver

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    1. Gattina, assaulting a public transport worker is a serious matter, but yes perhaps not a strike..........unless it is a regular problem.

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  9. Nice to have the warning, we don't know how much we depend on transit, until it isn't there.

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    1. Travel, so you are a public transport user?

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  10. I used trams until retirement last Christmas and depended on their reliability and timeliness. So although workers absolutely should strike to protect their rights, I hope trams patrons are given plenty of warning.

    There are ads all the time on tv warning drivers which level crossings over trainlines are being closed and for how long.

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    1. Hels, sacre bleu, you watch commercial tv.

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  11. Well you have given fair warning Andrew 😉 people are so weird though, I remember a few years ago when plastic bags were stopped, there were many many advanced warnings and people were still unprepared.. I digress though 😁

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    1. Grace, it was much the same here with plastic bags. People actually became angry and took it out on front line staff.

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  12. You're right, we haven't had any transit work interruptions in a long time.

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    1. Jackie, industrial relations became much tighter here, making strikes 'illegal' outside of the bargaining period.

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  13. Uh oh. Chaos approaches!

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