Train delays in Sydney expected next week after a breakdown in talks

The railway union is set to move ahead with planned industrial action over Sydney’s rail network next week, despite the NSW government’s latest offer to resolve a stalemate between the two sides over the safety of the state’s new $2 intercity rail fleet. .88 billion.

After an emergency meeting with senior ministers on Friday night, railway union bosses said the government was now “basically offering kickbacks” for workers to agree to work on the new trains, which have been in storage for two years. years from abroad. past.

Commuters will face disruptions to train services next week after the railway union threatened to escalate union action.

Commuters will face disruptions to train services next week after the railway union threatened to escalate union action.Credit:Brook Mitchell

Rail Tram and Bus Union Secretary of State Alex Claassens said the latest offer did not include modifications to the new trains to address its members’ safety concerns, while offering a 3 percent pay increase per year.

“The sticking point for us is and will always be the safety of the rail network,” he said. “And unfortunately they offered us a bribe to keep the new intercity fleet running as it is, with no modifications.”

Labor Relations Minister Damien Tudehope and Transport for NSW Secretary Rob Sharp met union leaders in Sydney’s CBD, while Transport Secretary David Elliott called in late Friday for the 15-minute meeting via a video link.

Claassens said the government had given the union three weeks to consult its members about the latest offer, and wanted the RTBU to suspend its planned union action.

“We are not going to make a decision tonight. I will bring the package to members and have talks with members. In the meantime, all those actions will continue, he said. “I am extremely disappointed that they have tried to bribe railway workers to accept an insecure business model.”

The government and train crews have been in conflict for years over the safety of the new intercity fleet, which rail unions say will need to be modified before it can operate safely in NSW. The changes to the new trains are central to a new venture agreement for thousands of railway workers.

A new intercity train is at a standstill at a Central Coast maintenance facility amid a protracted standoff between railway unions and the NSW government.

A new intercity train is at a standstill at a Central Coast maintenance facility amid a protracted standoff between railway unions and the NSW government.Credit:Tom Rabe

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