Fact Checking The Propaganda Machine of Metro Trains

Thomas Wanky

On the 28th of June Aleks Devic of the Herald Sun published a story entitled “Metro and union clash over 200km/h rule that means some drivers only work five hours a day“.  Ignoring the poor editing standards of the Herald Sun that saw a unit of speed be published in the heading instead of the unit of distance, we will now fact check some of the published story.

Aleks Devic (or the Metro Management negotiators who provided him with these lies) makes a number of assertions and confuses a number of different rules.

200 km Rule

There is a 200km rule in place, but it has everything to do with safety.  It was put into place to prevent driver fatigue and in turn, accidents.  In fact, the way it is actually written into the Metro-Drivers EBA (that can be easily found on the internet) is:


“Shifts in excess of 200km will be kept to a minimum”

Nothing there prevents drivers from doing shifts over 200km… Just that they must have a substantial break from driving trains during the shift.

So basically, Metro Trains Melbourne wants to remove a provision of their agreement that makes things SAFER on the railways.

Short Shifts

Aleks says in his article that the 200km rule sees many drivers getting paid for a full shift but going home early.

This might be in reference to a ‘short shifts’ provision in the Metro-Drivers EBA.  This was put into place at the Company’s request many many years ago.  It is an allowance for Metro Drivers to work a shorter shift without a meal break.  It allows for more drivers to drive trains during the peak hours where more drivers are needed.

Not allowed to drive more than twice on the same line in a day.

Aleks Devic says in his article  “Given the distance restrictions and also not being allowed to drive on the same line in a day more than twice, many sit in tea rooms or go home.”

Train Drivers can do multiple trips on shuttle services (Williamstown and Alamein), but are restricted to one trip on a line for safety reasons.

Investigations into previous accidents have shown that driving a train over the same piece of track time after time increases complacency.  Complacency promotes accidents.  Again, Metro Trains Melbourne want to remove a provision of their agreement that makes it SAFER on the Railways.

The Unions log of claims vs the Company’s log of claims

It’s the whole point of Enterprise Bargaining.  It’s a process, a long drawn out process that is enshrined in law.  Employees want more money.  Companies want more productivity.  Both parties sit down with a log of claims each and negotiate.

The Fair Work ACT 2009 – Section 228 lists the requirements for “Good faith bargaining”.

Included in this is a requirement that Bargaining representatives must give “…genuine consideration to the proposals of other bargaining representatives for the agreement”

This being said, Metro Memes have been made aware of Metro’s position in this process.

During a meeting on the 18th of June, it is alleged that Metro’s lead negotiator said that they have “No intention of reaching a resolution” and that “We [Metro] are only here to satisfy the requirements of good faith bargaining under the Act [Fair Work Act]”.

Rather than negotiate in good faith, Metro have apparently instead called upon their puppet publishers in the Herald Sun to disseminate lies to the Victorian Public about what is essentially a private negotiation between two parties.

“We have no intention of reaching a resolution”

”We don’t want to be here”

”We have no drive to reach an agreement”.

And if that wasn’t enough to show the lies published as fact by Aleks Devic of the Herald Sun:

Here is a sample shift for a Metro Trains Train Driver.  Note the number of Km’s driven in the bottom right hand corner.




  1. Driver Dan

    To which Manager at Metrol is Aleks married? This “un-named Metro source” is actually his wife. One of the quotes from the original article was about high speed and express trains making the kilometre limit unnecessary. What high speed or express trains? On most lines the average speed to the termini is about 40 km/h. Pakenham or Werribee are the only lines where there is much chance of travelling over 110 km/h, and the average speed on these is about 50 km/h. Do these Metro people know anything about the system they are running (into the ground)?


  2. Pingback: It’s Not Just a Pay Dispute | MTMMemes

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