NSW train drivers to strike next week

NSW train drivers will strike next Tuesday as they ramp up a campaign for better pay and conditions.
NSW train drivers will strike next Tuesday as they ramp up a campaign for better pay and conditions.

NSW train drivers will strike next week as part of an industrial campaign over pay and conditions.

The strike on Tuesday, September 28, from 9am to 1pm will be the culmination of a week of action, including a ban on overtime on Wednesday, a work to rule on Thursday and a go-slow with trains reducing speed to 60km/h on Saturday.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said workers at Sydney and NSW Trains are negotiating a new enterprise agreement but remain at loggerheads.

"After the government heaped us with praise for putting ourselves and our families in harm's way during COVID in order to keep the community moving, we've now entered enterprise agreement negotiations and any notion of goodwill has completely disappeared," Mr Claassens said in a statement on Wednesday.

The union is asking for a 3.5 per cent wage rise while the NSW government is offering 0.3 per cent for the first year of a new enterprise agreement.

"Workers are fighting to prevent a drop in safety and hygiene standards on our trains, as both Sydney and NSW Trains are trying to cut cleaning jobs and force the dangerous New InterCity Fleet trains into service before its numerous safety issues are resolved," Mr Claassens said.

The industrial action was designed to minimise disruption to essential workers but there would be delays, he said.

Australian Associated Press