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Sydney Trains: Urgent warning to all passengers

Urgent warning to commuters as train drivers in Sydney plan major industrial action next week that could cause major network delays

  • Train drivers slow down and refuse to run foreign-built trains next week
  • Demonstration comes as talks between union and NSW government falter
  • RTBU secretary Alex Claassens calls the government ‘more than disappointing’

NSW train drivers will slow down and refuse to use foreign-built trains as part of four days of industrial action next week.

The Rail, Tram and Bus Association says the action comes after the government canceled a planned meeting on Friday.

RTBU secretary Alex Claassens said he had been contacted late on Thursday evening and the meeting with transport officials and ministers had been cancelled, having been postponed several times.

NSW train drivers will slow down and refuse to use foreign-built trains as part of four days of industrial action next week

NSW train drivers will slow down and refuse to use foreign-built trains as part of four days of industrial action next week

“It is beyond disappointing that the NSW government continues to play political games at the expense of workers and commuters,” Claassens said.

He said employees acted in good faith during the long-running negotiations for a new company agreement after the old one expired more than a year ago.

“All we want is for the government to deliver on the fundamental security and personnel issues that we have been talking about for months,” said Mr Claassens.

The industrial action is scheduled to begin Tuesday with a slow move where drivers will not exceed 60 km/h.

On Wednesday, members would be indefinitely banned from going back to the railway operations center and would only work from their current depot on Thursdays, while also imposing an unrestricted ban on work related to Sydney Metro.

On Friday, members were said to refuse to run trains built abroad, putting new trains introduced since 2011 out of service.

Mr Claassens said the failure in the negotiations with the state government had forced state-wide action.

“We never want to have to take industrial action, but the NSW government – and some ministers in particular – seems to intend to force us into that position,” he said.

Unions are resorting to smaller union actions to try to push the negotiations forward

Unions are resorting to smaller union actions to try to push the negotiations forward

The Rail, Tram and Busbond says the action comes after the government canceled a planned meeting on Friday

The Rail, Tram and Busbond says the action comes after the government canceled a planned meeting on Friday

“The most important thing for us is action to fix the trains. We want safe trains.’

The demonstration comes after cleaners on NSW trains refused to clean up hazardous waste across the network when they began an ‘indefinite’ long strike last Thursday.

The union criticized NSW’s transport authorities for failing to give workers access to all the equipment necessary to safely handle dangerous rubbish on trains.

Cleaners want an additional $2.60 per hour as compensation for handling hazardous waste and waste.

The union told the Daily Mail Australia that hazardous waste includes toxic materials, needles, bio-waste and other dangerous and unsanitary byproducts, including vomit, blood, feces and urine.

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