Working From Home Might Be Your Best Bet This Week as More Train Strikes Hit NSW

train strike sydney today

As if the waterfall outside your window wasn’t enough to make you reconsider that shlep to the office, industrial action is set to continue across the NSW train network this week as the government continues its clash with the Rail Trains and Bus Union.

Trains across the Sydney region will operate at around 60% capacity or less for the remainder of the week as industrial action by the RTBU was upheld by the Fair Work Commission.

The NSW Government had appealed to the Fair Work Commission to have planned strikes halted this week, however the commission sided with the union in a clash over safety concerns. RTBU has said that it had already planned to increase train services this week to deal with the wet weather lashing Australia’s biggest city, and will run more foreign-built trains on the lines to pick up the slack.

The RTBU said in a statement that the Fair Work Commission decision was a “significant” win.

“The Fair Work Commission has today sided with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union and agreed it should continue the protected industrial action planned for the coming days. This is a significant win and we should take a moment and celebrate that,” the union said in a statement.

“However, it’s not over yet …We are going to fight it with everything we have.”

Related: Heading Into the Office This Week? Your Train Might Be Delayed

More hearings and meetings are set to be held this week as the RTBU tries to come to an agreement with the NSW Government over concerns it has with the safety of a new fleet of intercity trains, as well as issues surrounding pay and working conditions. The NSW Government has said that it will cost $264 million to update the fleet and has thus far refused to sign an agreement that they will commit to spending the money on upgrading them.

Head of Transport for NSW Howard Collins said that travelling by train should be avoided if possible, due to both the industrial dispute and the heavy rain.

“Please don’t make those non-essential journeys,” he said. “Obviously if you can avoid travel tomorrow and remain at home or not go to work that’d be great.

“If you’re travelling early tomorrow, check before you travel, make sure your time is running. And if you can delay your journey, particularly in the peak, where we expect will be under the most pressure.”

The next hearing between the NSW Government and the RBTU is set for Thursday. If the government agrees to the union’s conditions, rail travel could be expected to return to normal soon. If not, we could be in for more long months of disrupted travel.

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.