Rail services for NSW commuters will be cut by around half after the railway union won the right to pursue industrial action.
The New South Wales government lost its bid to block the protected action at an interim hearing before the Fair Work Commission on Tuesday after negotiations with the union failed.
Acting Transport Minister Natalie Ward warned that services would be cut by at least half on Wednesday.
“Today, we are aiming for up to 50%. Because the decision (by the commission) was taken late in the afternoon, we had to work all night with the teams to set up the timetables and put in place these additional trains, ”she said. told Sydney’s 2GB radio.
“Things could be a little later…By the end of the week, once we have those extra sets on the track…we should be at around 60%,” she said.
A full rehearing at the Fair Work Commission will take place on Thursday, ahead of further industrial action planned by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union on Friday.
The union said train services would be cut by around 30% and passengers would not be cut for not paying their fares from Wednesday to Friday.
“With everything that is happening now for the people of NSW, railway workers have decided to stop the NSW government taking money from people in the form of fines on public transport,” the chief executive said on Tuesday. NSW union, Alex Claassens.
“We never want to disturb commuters.
‘This whole dispute is about ensuring commuters get the safe trains they deserve, however the NSW government’s continued political game-play means we have no choice.’
The dispute between the government and the union concerns a new fleet of Korean-built trains, which railway workers say are unsafe.
Although the government offered to spend $264 million to address safety issues, it refused to put this in writing to the union.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet argued this week that the proposed changes were unnecessary.
But the cost of fleet storage would “skyrocket” without a resolution to the long-running dispute, he added.
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