Industrial action on V/Line network to intensify

February 8, 2024 BY

V/Line CEO Matt Carrick (left) and RTBU secretary Vik Sharma (right). Photos: SUPPLIED

THE Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has informed V/Line of its plan to conduct rolling four-hour work stoppages as industrial action enters its third month.

These actions are scheduled for Monday, February 12; February 16; February 19; and February 23.

The impact of these early morning stoppages, running from 3-7am, is expected to affect operations throughout each day.

The industrial action marks a significant escalation in the ongoing dispute between V/Line management and its workforce.

RTBU branch secretary Vik Sharma said cost of living pressures were a key factor.

“Cost of living pressures are not just felt by metropolitan families – they are hurting regional Victorians as well.

“If the Allan Labor Government cares about regional Victorians at all, it needs to step up immediately and ensure regional rail workers are treated fairly.

“We intend to continue these actions into the future unless satisfactory progress is made on a new Enterprise Agreement.

“The industrial actions will have a significant impact on services on those days.

“We recommend that commuters make alternative travel arrangements for those days, or work from home if they are able to.”

Affected operations staff, including conductors, train controllers, shunters, station staff, customer service staff, and authorised officers, will cease work from 3 am to 7 am on these days, effectively bringing V/Line services to a standstill.

Initially, the industrial action will involve only non-driving staff members.

The action is set to affect V/Line services statewide as employees push for advancements in their enterprise bargaining agreement terms.

V/Line chief executive officer Matt Carrick in December urged the union to reconsider industrial action.

“We have been negotiating with employee representatives and the union in good faith and urge the union to reconsider industrial action which could potentially disrupt tens of thousands of passengers,” he said.

“We’ll continue to work with the union to deliver excellent employment conditions for our workforce and a better service for our passengers – in the event of industrial action, we will work hard to minimise the impacts on passengers.”