‘They don’t care’: Frustrated Sydney commuters prepare for more train chaos
Urgent negotiations will get underway this afternoon after the Rail, Tram & Bus Union (RTBU) threatened further strike action on Sydney’s trains. From Sunday, crews will only work their master roster and not accept any altered working.
Transport Minister David Elliott will meet with the union this afternoon for fresh negotiations ahead of that planned action.
Frustrated Sydneysiders spoke to 9News at Granville station this morning, saying their jobs and wages are being threatened by repeated disruptions.
“A lot of people are going to lose their jobs if they can’t get to work on time,” one told 9News.
Another said: “Government and unions they must solve it. Looks like they don’t care about commuters at all.”
Today reporter Sarah Stewart said delays and disruptions could last for weeks if a resolution is not agreed upon.
“We have been warned about two weeks of disruptions with the worst probably happening on Monday,” she said.
“That is because staff will go back to a master roster.
“But we know there are some talks this afternoon…really hoping that we can avoid that network shutdown that we saw last month. Let’s hope so.
RBTU demands free fares for commuters amid ‘mess’
The RTBU has threatened more industrial action unless the government allows free train travel every Friday until June.
“The public of NSW need an apology and certainly need a fare-free day,” RTBU NSW secretary Alex Claassens said earlier this week, calling the 24-hour rail shutdown last month that left thousands stranded a “mess”.
“The people of NSW deserve a safe railway and some free travel as compensation for the mess the NSW Government put them in.”
Mr Elliott responded to the rail union requests, accusing it of an “unprovoked attack”.
Mr Elliott said he would “up the ante” of the union’s request for fare-free travel, and instead offer a year of free Friday commutes.
“If you promise not to strike for another year I’ll give fare-free Fridays for a full year,” he said.