Rail strike slows NSW
A rail strike has disrupted services across NSW.
Rail workers at Sydney and NSW Trains stopped work from 9am to 1pm on Tuesday, angry at stalled negotiations over pay and safety.
Rail Tram and Bus Union NSW secretary Alex Claassens says not only has the state government refused to offer a “fair” agreement, it has not even sent senior officials to the negotiating table.
“No one from senior management, nor the Transport Minister, have even bothered to meet with us at all throughout the negotiations,” Mr Claassens said on Tuesday.
“Saying we’ve been forced to take industrial action is not an exaggeration.”
The RTBU wants workers to receive a 3.5 per cent pay increase, but the government has offered 0.3 per cent in the first year and 2.5 per cent the following year.
The union has also raised disputes about the rollout of the new intercity train fleet, which do not need drivers or guards, using CCTV to monitor platforms instead.
The union says this new technology could lead to dangerous conditions.
The union also has a dispute with cuts to cleaning jobs, which it says can see cleaning standards drop - a huge risk during a pandemic.
“All we’re asking for is a clean, safe and efficient transport system to work in and to be paid fairly for the work we’re doing,” Mr Claassens said.
FedEx drivers are reportedly planning to stop work for 24 hours on Thursday.