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Tram union says they ‘have no other option’ but to strike during the Australian Open

3AW News

Thousands of tennis fans are set to be stranded as Melbourne’s entire tram network is hit by strikes on some of the busiest days of the Australian Open.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has announced more tram strikes after vowing to walk off the job again over a bitter industrial dispute.

Luba Grigorovitch, secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union Victoria told 3AW’s Ross and John the union has been showing restraint.

However, Yarra Trams has left them with no choice but to strike.

“We’ve been negotiating since March last year and there’s just no end in sight because Yarra Trams is dragging the chain,” she said.

“We haven’t taken industrial action for two months because we didn’t want to inconvenience the public over the Christmas period.

“We regret these stoppages will coincide with the Australian Open, but we have no other option but to exercise the only effective industrial right workers have.”

Drivers and other operational staff are planning stoppages from 10am to 2pm on January 28 and January 30 in the second week of the tournament.

Extra services are usually provided around Melbourne Park to cope with the large crowds flocking to the grand slam.

Ms Grigorovitch says the industrial action isn’t just about the money.

“Ultimately, we want to retain the hard-won conditions we have won over time,” she told 3AW Breakfast.

“Yarra Trams is adamant they want to try and slash our conditions, primarily around part-time workers.”

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3AW News