Rollingstock & Manufacturing, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Workforce

Sydney trains hit by industrial action, wet weather

Sydney public transport was thrown into chaos yesterday as the dispute  between the New South Wales government and Rail, Tram and Bus Union flared up again.

Industrial action cut back train services by about 40 per cent on Wednesday, adding to the impacts of severe wet weather.

The RTBU has lodged a protected action hearing with the Fair Work Commission for today (Thursday), with more industrial action set to affect commuters on Friday.

The action was triggered by a long-running dispute over the safety of the new Intercity Fleet.

RTBU NSW branch secretary Alex Claassens said while the NSW Government had agreed to rectify the safety issues on the new fleet, the union needed to “see the complete package and commitment in writing and discuss it with members before any action can be called off”.

“This isn’t the first time the NSW Government has promised it will fix the safety issues. Rail workers and commuters have been burnt too many times to believe what one Minister in one meeting says.”

While the government has offered to spend $264 million to address the safety concerns, it has declined to formalise the agreement.

Transport for NSW said the rail network would operate on a reduced timetable again on Thursday.