Adelaide’s tram drivers will strike for 24 hours next week after rejecting a new pay offer.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union state secretary Darren Phillips said tram workers would walk off the job on Tuesday after voting not to accept an increased pay deal from the private operator Torrens Connect.
Drivers will also turn off ticket validators, allowing passengers to ride for free when services resume on Wednesday.
Mr Phillips says workers met on Wednesday and decided to escalate their protected industrial dispute.
“The fact is that these workers are on a relatively low base pay rate of $67,000 a year, and inflation has been eroding the value of their pay year after year," he said.
“They are fed up, and they do not want to keep going backwards."
The union previously asked for a 21 per cent pay rise across three years and recently knocked back an offer of 12 per cent.
It was understood the revised offer rejected on Wednesday was for a 14 per cent pay bump.
Mr Phillips said drivers understood the strike would cause disruption to commuters but felt they had no alternative.
“Workers wanted to give travellers as much notice as possible so they can have time to make alternative travel plans for next Tuesday," he said.
“Of course, the industrial action could still be avoided if Torrens Connect responds quickly with a revised pay offer.”
Torrens Connect is yet to comment on the planned strike.