NSW train drivers will drive slower and refuse to operate foreign-built trains as part of four days of industrial action next week.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says the action comes after the government cancelled a planned meeting on Friday.
RTBU secretary Alex Claassens said he was contacted late on Thursday night and told the meeting with transport officials and government ministers was cancelled, after already being postponed multiple times.
NSW train drivers will drive slower and refuse to operate foreign-built trains as part of four days of industrial action next week
‘It’s beyond disappointing that the NSW government is continuing to play political games at the expense of workers and commuters,’ Mr Claassens said.
He said workers have been acting with good faith during the long-running negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement after the old one expired over a year ago.
‘All we want is for the government to deliver on the basic safety and workforce issues that we’ve been talking about for many months,’ Mr Claassens said.
The industrial action is slated to begin Tuesday with a go-slow movement where drivers will not exceed 60 km/h.
On Wednesday, members would be indefinitely banned from moving back to the rail operations centre, and would only work from their current depot on Thursday, while also placing an indefinite ban on work relating to Sydney Metro.
On Friday members would refuse to drive foreign built trains, taking new trains introduced since 2011 out of service.
Mr Claassens said the breakdown in negotiations with the state government had forced the statewide action.
‘We never want to have to take industrial action, but the NSW government – in particular some ministers – seem intent on forcing us into that position,’ he said.
Unions have been resorting to smaller-scale industrial action to try and push along negotiations
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union says the action comes after the government cancelled a planned meeting on Friday
‘The single most important issue for us is action to get the trains fixed. We want safe trains.’
The demonstration comes after cleaners on NSW trains refused to clean up hazardous waste across the network as they began last Thursday an ‘indefinitely’ long strike.
The union slammed NSW transport authorities for not allowing workers to access all the necessary equipment to safely deal with dangerous messes left on trains.
Cleaners want an extra $2.60 an hour as an allowance to compensate for dealing with the dangerous waste and rubbish.
The union told Daily Mail Australia hazardous waste includes toxic materials, needles, bio-waste, and other dangerous and unsanitary by-products including vomit, blood, faeces and urine.