Events, Operations & Maintenance, Passenger Rail, Workforce

Fair Work move to halt Sydney industrial action

Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink have made an application to the Fair Work Commission seeking to suspend and/or terminate further industrial action across the rail network that will see continued significant disruptions to customer journeys each day and cause economic harm to the NSW economy.

Transport for NSW Secretary Rob Sharp and senior executives have held meetings with rail unions this week but could not reach agreement, leaving no option but to seek a halt to the ongoing protected industrial action. The rail agencies have engaged in more than 30 bargaining meetings across the past six months with unions, without coming to agreement.

“Our number one focus is to ensure the travelling public can get where they are going safely and can rely on the public transport system at this critical time,” he said.

“As the NSW economy reopens and people return to their daily lives it’s vital that they do not face disruptions across the transport network that could not just cause them inconvenience but harm business and the NSW economy.”

Further protected industrial action is planned to commence next week which together would severely impact the rail network, inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of commuters and costing millions of dollars.

“During our negotiations, we have made reasonable concessions and we continue to encourage the unions to come back to the bargaining table rather than take action, to work with us to make two new Enterprise Agreements that benefit not just our employees, but also our customers,” Sharp said.

“We are making this application to seek the ruling of the independent industrial umpire to avert the difficulties that the travelling public will face over the next two weeks. This is also at a time when the Premier is relaxing COVID restrictions to provide greater flexibility and certainty for the people of NSW this includes people returning to workplaces, schools and tertiary institutions.”

TfNSW advises Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink intercity and regional customers could face continued disruption until March 7 to their journeys, from Monday 21 February, if the protected industrial action proceeds.