Sydney’s public transport network is expected to suffer through major disruptions on Wednesday as some train workers get set to walk off the job.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW members will strike over what the union claims is senior management’s refusal to meet with them as they negotiate a new bargaining agreement.
They criticised Transport Minister Andrew Constance for not personally attending any negotiations and management’s refusal to rule out further privatisation of the state’s transport network.
“Last month rail workers were forced to take the step of stopping our train network for the first time in decades, out of sheer desperation at the complete silence and disrespect from the NSW Government,” RTBU secretary Alex Claassens said.
“Unbelievably, the silence and disrespect has continued.”
Transport NSW said that negotiations were being carried out in “good faith” but added that commuters could expect major disruptions on Wednesday.
The workers are refusing to operate trains on the Sydney Train and NSW TrainLink network, causing some services to be cancelled and others to operate on a reduced timetable.
Some suburban lines will operate every 30 minutes and will stop at every station, meaning extra travel time will be needed.
Among the changes: buses will replace trains between Bankstown and Lidcombe station while services on the Bankstown line between Liverpool and the CBD will run at a reduced frequency.
Buses will be added to run alongside train services between Macarthur and Campbelltown, between Wollongong and Thirroul as well as between Schofields and Tallawong.
Some suburban lines and NSW TrainLink Intercity services will run on reduced timetables.
Transport NSW said that commuters should consider alternative arrangements including taxis or rideshare or finding alternative routes.