SA Tram workers secure 3-year job guarantee, but campaign to save services will continue

It’s just one week until Adelaide’s tram network will officially be run by a private operator, with the transition to a private operator on Sunday 5 July.


RTBU South Australia/Northern Territory Secretary Darren Phillips today said that tram workers would be protected by a three-year job guarantee, recently negotiated as part of a new Enterprise Agreement.  The Enterprise Agreement also protects long-standing workplace conditions.

Mr Phillips said workers, however, will continue their campaign against public transport cuts and privatisation.


“The take-over of tram operations will be a sad day for the state of South Australia.

“Tram workers have done their very best to support the community during the pandemic crisis, despite the uncertainty caused by the privatisation of their jobs.

“While countries like the United Kingdom are bringing outsourced public transport operations back under government control, the South Australian Government is going in the opposite direction.

“Privatisation is all about extracting profits, and inevitably those profits will come from cuts to services.

“That’s why handing over our public transport operations to private companies will disadvantage the people who can least afford it, and particularly during the COVID-19 recession.”


Mr Phillips said South Australia’s tram and train systems have benefited from major State and Federal Government investments over the past ten years leading to significant improvements to efficiency and on time running.

“It is galling that the dividends of these public investments – paid for by taxpayers – are now being diverted into the pockets of private companies.

“We are also deeply concerned that the advantages of our improved public transport system will be lost as the new operators seek to reduce costs.  This will impact on everyone within our community.

“Effective public transport systems are essential to reducing traffic congestion, minimising transport-related pollution, and to the overall liveability of modern cities.

“The Marshall Government does not believe that these public transport qualities are important to South Australians.”