Rail workers will run trains with ‘go-slow’ in industrial fight to keep guards on trains and stop privatisation
Rail workers across NSW are taking approved industrial action today while still making sure the public can get by, in a bid to secure commitments from the state government to keep guards on trains and halt further privatisation of the public transport network.
Train services will continue to run, but a ‘go slow’ will take place between 8am-10am and 4pm-5pm, when trains will only operate at speeds less than 60km/h.
Last week, rail workers agreed to postpone several approved industrial actions after NSW Trains, Sydney Trains, and senior management of Transport for NSW agreed to meet with workers for the first time since the expiry of their enterprise agreements in May.
Today’s planned actions remain in place and are designed to minimise the impact of the action on the public and essential workers.
“Rail workers have no wish to upset the public. We are fighting tooth and nail to deliver them a safe, high quality public transport system that is firmly in public hands,” says Alex Claassens, Secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW.
“It’s sad that it took months of doing everything by the book, and then another two months of industrial action to get senior management to have a conversation with us.
“But we’re finally here, and while senior management are at the table, we are negotiating in good faith and remain hopeful that their newfound goodwill is here to stay.
“Recent industrial action has brought attention to these transport issues, but workers have been fighting for years against plans to take guards off our trains, privatise by stealth, slash safety standards and sell off even more of our public transport assets.
“These enterprise negotiations are a continuation of those fights.
“Transport workers take great pride in helping people get by and running such an essential public service. We hope that the public understands the reason for the disruption that our actions will cause today.
“Please know we are trying to secure the best possible public transport network for our state, for the future.”