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NSW Govt deliberately misleading public on rail action

Jul 7, 2022Media releases News

Media release, 7 July 2022: The NSW Government’s claims that union action is responsible for significant rail service cuts are blatant lies and yet another attempt to shift the blame for its poor handling of our transport system onto the state’s hard-working rail workers, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW says.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union Secretary (RTBU) NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens, said government claims that protected industrial action is responsible for an up to 50 per cent cut in rail services are complete rubbish. 

“The NSW Government’s claims that union action is responsible for a significant decrease in rail services are not just disappointing, they are blatant lies,” Mr Claassens said.

“It is disappointing that yet another NSW Government Minister has weighed into the current issue and decided to play political games rather than focusing on what is really important – ensuring we have a safe rail network.

“None of the protected industrial action taken by rail workers recently should have had any notable impact on rail services at all. In fact, while the Minister was running around claiming union action was responsible for delays yesterday, there were a large number of additional trains sitting idle ready to be used and workers ready to drive them.

“It seems that the NSW Government has learnt nothing from it’s disgraceful rail shut down back in February. They’re back at it again, deliberately lying about service cuts and trying to blame workers to make a political point.

Mr Claassens said the protected industrial action currently underway includes a ban on transit officers issuing fines on public transport, a ban on a small number of foreign-made trains, and other actions designed to impact management rather than commuters.

“When the extreme weather hit the state, we moved quickly to ensure additional services were available so those in impacted regions could access rail services, because that’s what we always do – whatever it takes to keep the people of NSW safe and moving,” Mr Claassens said.

“Throughout this whole dispute we’ve always been as fair and reasonable as possible while still making it very clear to management and the NSW Government that we are serious about fighting for the safe railway commuters and workers deserve.

“We wouldn’t have to take any action at all if the NSW Government simply listened to the experts on rail safety, applied common-sense, and took action to ensure commuters get the safe trains they deserve. The Fair Work Commission rejected the NSW Government’s attempt to halt the union’s protected industrial action in its interim decision on Tuesday and is set to hear the full case on Thursday and Friday.

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