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MELBOURNE'S tram workers could strike next month as part of industrial action planned by their union.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union yesterday lodged documents with the industrial umpire.
These would see tram staff take strike action against Yarra Trams after a ballot of workers.
It follows similar action on Monday by the union representing Metro Trains' 700 infrastructure staff, who have started protected industrial action over a new workplace agreement.
Rail staff are threatening to ban only some construction and maintenance, and overtime. But tram drivers and staff lodged their application for a protected action ballot with Fair Work Australia yesterday, with their union asking staff to vote on strike action.
Among the proposed industrial actions were options that would see Melbourne's tram system badly disrupted.
It will be at least four weeks before a vote of staff at both train and tram operators will be completed.
A spokesman for Yarra Trams said it was premature to comment on the dispute.
But he said the Fair Work Act had some mechanisms during the bargaining process that could help avert a strike.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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