FYI Syd Commuters, Expect Train Chaos This Weekend Bc Industrial Action Is Kicking Up Again

Sydney train strikes industrial action

Welp, here we go again folks. Sydney train strikes will kick off again this weekend and potentially go on until the end of the year if the NSW government doesn’t come to an agreement with the union soon. Here’s everything you need to know.

Trackwork was already planned for this weekend (November 12 and 13) when the union announced industrial action, which means there will be even more chaos than usual.

All lines will operate on a reduced timetable, while no trains will run at all for the T5 Cumberland line between Richmond and Leppington.

If you’re catching trains this weekend, prepare yourself for longer wait times between services and more crowded carriages.

“We have critical trackwork planned this weekend, but we haven’t been able to plan a special timetable due to industrial action notified by the Rail, Tram, and Bus Union,” Sydney Trains Chief Executive Matt Longland said in a statement.

“As a result, there will be gaps in service of up to 30 minutes in the outer parts of the Sydney Trains network and service gaps of up to 15 minutes for lines closer to the city, on both Saturday and Sunday.”

The union has also released a calendar of strikes its planned for the next two months, which will go ahead if the NSW government doesn’t cooperate with demands. Some of the strikes include bans on cleaning, which means your commute is about to get even grottier.

How long are the Sydney Train strikes scheduled for?

Here’s the full calendar for the union’s planned industrial action, though hopefully the NSW government gets its shit together and workers won’t have to go through with it:

  • November 12: Train crews will only operate on scheduled shifts, not their altered hours.
  • November 18: Trains won’t be scrubbed or vacuumed for 48 hours.
  • November 19: Graffiti will be left on trains for a week.
  • November 21: Train drivers won’t operate Millennium trains which will cause major delays on the T2 Inner West and Leppington, T3 Bankstown, T5 Cumberland, T7 Olympic Park and T8 Airport and South lines.
  • November 22: Staff will stop hosing down train platforms for a week. Stay extra vigilant so you don’t step in someone’s vom.
  • November 24: Another 48 hour ban on scrubbing and vacuuming trains.
  • November 25: Another ban on operating Millennium trains.
  • December 2: The Big Strike. All train lines across Sydney won’t be operating (or will at least be extremely infrequent) because of a city-wide strike.

Why are Sydney train workers striking?

The Sydney Train strikes are in “response to the government’s failure to come to the negotiating table over safety demands for a new train fleet and pay disputes”, according to Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Alex Claassens.

The industrial action has been going on for months and its been a messy slog of drama, but really it comes down to the fact the union reckons the government failed to meet necessary safety standards in relation to its shiny new Korean-made Intercity Fleet. And its workers want a pay rise. Two very reasonable concerns if you ask me.

Re the safety demands, the union is worried about blind spots in surveillance on the new fleet. The new trains rely solely on CCTV cameras which stick out the side of the trains, which a) don’t record audio and b) don’t actually have a very good depth of vision because of the carriage.

NSW Transport Minister David Elliott pledged $264 million to fix the fleet but the union said his offer came with terms and conditions that they couldn’t compromise on.

Since then strikes have been on and off, and is been chaos for everyone involved. You’d think our government would be willing to settle, seeing as transport safety is important and so is the happiness of our essential workers but nope, so here we are.