YIKES: The NSW Government’s Set To Take The Rail Union To Court Over Its Opal Machine Plan

The NSW Government is set to take the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) to Federal Court ‘cos of the planned industrial action which would see Opal readers switched off across Sydney stations.

The RTBU voted to switch off Opal readers in mid-October, and announced this week it’d be switching them off from Thursday. The plan is for Opal readers to be turned off in train stations between 3pm and 7pm.

Just in time for the ‘ol commute, I see.

Now Transport Minister David Elliott has claimed the industrial action is “unprotected” — which would mean it’s unlawful.

The government will seek damages from the RTBU.

“I will be going to the Federal Court to seek damages and repayments from the RTBU for the loss of revenue that will be lost by NSW taxpayers in the course of this action,” he said, per 9News.

He called on the RTBU to can the industrial action.

CEO of Sydney Trains Matt Longland has also said passengers might be able to tap on at one station but not tap off at the next station.

As you might expect, the rail union has slammed the government’s move.

RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens defended the industrial action.

“Turning off the Opal machines and providing commuters with free travel is the kind of protected industrial action we want to take, because we know the only other options available to us do unfortunately tend to result in disruption to commuters,” Claassens said according to The Canberra Times.

As reported by 9News, Claassens also said the NSW Government is “more interested in using taxpayer dollars on legal fees than they are in reaching an agreements that guarantees the safety of commuters”.

It’s all heating up!

Claassens previously said he thought the government would try and take the RTBU to court over the action.

If the government is successful in its Federal Court case the union will have to cover the cost, which could be tens of millions of dollarydoos according to Elliott.

The union canned a previous plan to turn off Opal readers back in September after the government lodged a Fair Work Commission application over the sitch.