The largest possible unit must be established with other parts of workers facing similar threats to their safety and working conditions, first and foremost with tram workers who were similarly sold by THE RTBU in a recent employment agreement. It is necessarily a political struggle that demands action against the anti-democratic industrial fair labor regime imposed by the unions and the national laboratory government, and a struggle for the removal of private ownership of Melbourne`s train and tram networks, which instead become public and democratically controlled enterprises. managed in the interest of social needs and not the profit of the company. A mechanic spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the impact of the new agreement. “The main concession I refuse is the number of races on a line,” he said. “Years ago, before I started, he was depressed that we could do as much racing as possible on one line, with the exception of our home line, where we could do two races because it stopped the self-satisfaction of the riders. Today, up to three races have been held on the same line, which, beyond the great risk that is introduced, only removes any satisfaction at work. We`re going to have riders in Sandringham who do three Sandringhams [lines] or three francs a day. As part of the EBA, I could do it four days in a row. RTBU narrowly imposed the regressive deal by playing train drivers against other Metro Trains workers, including station staff, ticket controllers and administrative staff. This sharing and management strategy included that union officials were greeted by management at stations and depots – locomotive drivers told the WSWS that the usual restrictions on access to the site appeared to have been lifted – in order to make lengthy presentations in which they pleaded “yes”. Mechanics opposed to the deal were presented as greedy and selfish. The ratified agreement will open up important working conditions for Metro Trains workers, especially for locomotive drivers.
Many outraged railway workers have left RTBU to protest the bureaucracy`s imposition of large-scale concessions on behalf of Metro Trains, which operates Melbourne`s privatized rail network and is majority-owned by Hong Kong-based giant MTR Corporation. Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) announced last month that a new company deal for Metro Trains employees in Melbourne had been approved by 51 per cent of union members, just ahead of the 49 per cent who voted “no”. Both the threat of COVID-19 and the liquidation of the collective agreement make it necessary for locomotive drivers to organize independently of the unions. This turned out to be a necessity of life and death. Metro Director Raymond O`Flaherty welcomed the ratified agreement. . . .