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.