Update 2pm Thursday 25 January:
Monday’s scheduled rail strike in NSW has been called off. The Fair Work Commission has suspended the planned industrial action from 6pm this evening, however, commuters are advised that they can expect major disruptions and chaos this afternoon and, if possible, they should attempt to leave work early or find an alternate transport method for the commute home.
NSW train workers voted yesterday to proceed with a 24-hour strike on Monday, 29 January, but industrial action will actually begin today, with timetables (including NSW regional services) heavily affected when an overtime ban for workers comes into effect. On Monday, no trains will be running across the state of NSW.
The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) CEO, Margy Osmond, yesterday condemned the decision by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union to proceed with the strike at the peak of Sydney’s holiday season, saying the city’s tourism reputation will be severely damaged.
“This decision by the union will leave tourists and residents across Sydney stranded for up to 24 hours, but the negative impact on the city’s reputation will last much longer.
“During the peak of our summer holiday season, there will potentially be hundreds of thousands of domestic and international visitors who will have difficulty accessing our attractions or getting to and from the airport. In addition, our terrific tourism employees will struggle to get to work to provide the service and support that our visitors expect.
“It is bad enough that commuters and visitors will have to endure services operating on a weekend schedule during a working day [today].
“The Government and the Transport Minister have worked overtime to find a solution and it is outrageous for the RTBU to make tourists and the travelling public suffer.
“There is no question that this strike will damage our reputation as a welcoming destination for holidaymakers and business travellers.”
IMAGE: Sydney Trains