Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink have made an application to the Fair Work Commission to suspend and/or terminate industrial action across the rail network, as Sydney Trains’ shutdown of intercity train services due to union action continues to see disruptions to customer journeys.

After a weekend of attempted negotiations between Transport for New South Wales, New South Wales TrainLink and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), it was announced that train services would not be able to safely operate on 21 February 2022.

The rail agencies have engaged in more than thirty bargaining meetings across the past six months with unions, though no agreement has been made.

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott said limited services (25 per cent) would be operating from the 22 February, with hopes that more will be available later in the week, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

SMH also reported that the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) met with Mr Elliot on 22 February, which did not end with a clear resolution.

Customers have been advised to avoid train travel, use alternative modes of transport, and allow extra time on other modes of transport.

Transport for New South Wales Secretary, Rob Sharp, said, “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.

“As the New South Wales 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 New South Wales economy.”

Further protected industrial action is planned to commence next week.

“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.” Mr 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 New South Wales this includes people returning to workplaces, schools and tertiary institutions.”

Transport for NSW has advised Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink that intercity and regional customers could face continued disruption to their journeys until March 7 if the protected industrial action proceeds.

A Fair Work Commission hearing between New South Wales Government officials, and the rail union, has been adjourned and is now set to be held on the 23 February 2022, as reported by SMH.

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1 Comment
  1. SB 4 months ago

    Hold on now. The strike action did not shut down the rail network. The union agreed to cancel a ban on overtime and other plans in exchange for being able to go ahead with scaled-down industrial action on Monday for two weeks, and the government withdrawing its arbitration push. The government, after agreeing to this, then sent Crown solicitors to the FWC to demand the industrial action be called off. The Fair Work Commission sided with the union and the previously agreed upon industrial action was scheduled to go ahead.

    The shady & underhanded tactics of this government are breathtaking & the fact that the NSW Transport Minister David Elliott didn’t even brother to attend is beyond belief. Perrottet & his cronies are slinging blame at the union in the hope that the public will be outraged at the inconvenience & not bother digging a little deeper to find out who is actually to blame fir this shenanigans.

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