As most of you would know, the RTBU was in the Federal Court on 14, 15 and 16 October, fighting for our members’ right to take protected industrial action.
After three full days of hearing, the union’s Federal Court case against Metro has not yet concluded and we will be required back in Court on 6 November 2019.
All we want is a fair EBA but instead we have spent many hours preparing for this case which has so far involved:
- Hours with lawyers obtaining advice, drafting affidavits and preparing for cross-examination.
- Everyone in the office had to deal with legal “discovery” which required us to go through phones, emails and other documents to hand over to Metro’s lawyers.
- I was in the witness box for hours upon hours being cross-examined by Metro’s QC.
All of this could have been avoided if Metro had dropped off on their outrageous attacks on our wages and conditions and agreed to a fair EBA.
We expect a decision will take some time, but we hope it’s the right one so that we can put this legal stuff behind us and get back to bargaining on an even keel.
Our fight over this isn’t just about wages and conditions. Although that’s important, our fight is for the future of our rail network, and the future of our city. Our fight is Melbourne’s fight.
Melbourne needs a rail system that’s safe, that’s reliable, and meets the needs of a growing population. It needs a rail system that’s properly staffed, and properly maintained.
Melbourne needs you, and you need to be properly paid, you need security of employment, you need decent working conditions.
Following the court case, the RTBU organised a rally on the steps of Flinders Street Station to band together in solidarity and mount the pressure on Metro to come back to the bargaining table.
Flinders Street Station was surrounded by a sea of flags and unionists for our rally. I thank each and every one of you who came down and showed your support.
I know we’ve all been here before, stuck in an EBA battle against Metro, feeling like we’re banging our head against a wall. It’s frustrating, and we’re all sick and tired of going through the same arguments.
But we can’t give up, and we won’t give up.
Our union has been fighting for rail workers in this town since 1862. That’s 157 years of rail workers standing side by side, staring down the bosses, digging in for their rights.
157 years of staunch, determined, trade unionists backing each other up.
157 years of solidarity.
Throughout this fight, we have received solidarity messages and support from many other unions, state-wide, nationally and even internationally.
The industrial laws are broken, and they need to change, we must continue to fight and stand together against this greedy multi-national corporation!