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Train services expected to resume despite driver boycott threat

“It’s not the same as actually seeing and driving a train,” he said.

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Driving along the tracks involved navigating a “whole range of signals, changes in the topography of the track, and the gradient has changed”.

A boycott would mean commuters would face further disruptions on the day services were meant to resume.

In a bid to avoid any possible chaos, Metro Trains took the matter to the Fair Work Commission on Friday.

It alleged the move was an attempt by the union to take protected industrial action.

Following two days of proceedings, which stretched late into Saturday night, Fair Work Commission deputy president Val Gostencnik released an opinion on Sunday morning in a bid to help bring about a swift resolution to the matter.

Overhead wires being installed as part of the project.

Overhead wires being installed as part of the project.

Mr Gostencnik said he was of the view the training provided was adequate.

“On the evidence it appears that the route learning tools provided by MTM in relation
to the relevant section of track, namely the provision of instructed CGI briefings and
route information booklets, was consistent with the route risk assessment process it conducted,” he said.

“On the evidence, the fact that training was provided to drivers through instructed CGI
briefings and route information booklets, without more, is not likely to found a basis
for a reasonable concern by an employee about an imminent risk to the employee’s
health and safety.”

It means that any decision made by the union to boycott services could be deemed as unprotected industrial action.

New tracks were installed at the site.

New tracks were installed at the site.

A Federal Court ruling in December last year has meant that the union has not been able to take any strike action against Metro while negotiating a wage deal.

The latest move comes as Rail Projects Victoria celebrated completing the project ahead of schedule after the final sections of concrete were poured for the tunnel’s roof slab, along with 1.8 kilometres of new track.

While services are expected to resume on Monday, commuters still face disruptions as further upgrades are made.

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Level-crossing removal works will ramp up across the south-east, with two weeks of construction on
the Frankston line starting in early February.

Buses will replace trains on the Frankston Line from Moorabbin to Frankston and Stony Point from 1am on Sunday, February 2 to February 16.

The union did not return calls on Sunday.

With Timna Jacks

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