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Train strikes lifted after ‘constructive conversations’

“We are encouraged by Metro’s commitments to intensive negotiations over the coming days.”

Metro CEO Raymond O’Flaherty welcomed the decision.

Metro workers have withdrawn two proposed strikes. 
The Age. Photo: Angela Wylie. April 25 2013.

Metro workers have withdrawn two proposed strikes. The Age. Photo: Angela Wylie. April 25 2013.Credit:Angela Wylie AJW

“We have always maintained that an agreement can be reached at the bargaining table, and without disrupting our passengers,” Mr O’Flaherty said.

“All work bans planned for the next two weeks have now been withdrawn, meaning there will be no impacts to services tomorrow.

“We look forward to getting back to the negotiating table immediately.”

Mr O’Flaherty said he was confident an agreement could be reached without industrial action.

“We look forward to lifting the pace and intensity of negotiations this week so we can reach a fair and reasonable agreement for our employees,” he said.

Metro Trains had earlier successfully sought an injunction in the Federal Court to stop the union’s plans for industrial action, arguing that this would hit the train operator on one of its busiest days.

It maintains any industrial action taken by the RTBU would be unprotected and attract penalties.

The RTBU denied the strike was a response to the injunction, but rather a reaction to Metro’s decision to dock the pay of workers engaging in work bans.

The union is calling for a 6 per cent annual wage rise over three years, whereas Metro is offering 2 per cent.

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On Thursday, Yarra Trams staff joined Metro workers in voting to take industrial action in pursuit of a 6 per cent wage rise.

It wouldn’t be the first time Metro workers have taken strike action over a pay dispute.

In 2015 workers went on strike during negotiations over their last enterprise bargaining agreement, which resulted in a 4.4 per cent annual wage rise for workers.

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