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BREAKING AUSTRALIA: NSW commuters to face more rail disruptions, including strikes in month-long campaign

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#AceBreakingNews – NSW rail workers are ramping up industrial action for a month from Sunday by refusing to issue fines, leaving gates at train stations open and taking part in rolling targeted strikes.

a woman walking on a platform at a rail station as she approaches a parked train
The rail union is escalating its industrial action from next week until the end of August.(AAP Image: Bianca De Marchi)none

The action is part of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union’s (RTBU) ongoing campaign to secure safety changes to the new intercity fleet, in the face of what they say is the NSW government’s stubborn refusal to do so.

RTBU NSW secretary Alex Claassens said workers were hopeful the government would sign a document committing to the modifications.

“We’ve done everything by the book in order to get these vital safety changes, but the government is refusing to listen,” he said.

“We’ve had plenty of verbal promises before, which is why this time we need to see it committed to in a binding document.”

a man with a moustache looking sideways
Alex Claassens hopes the NSW government will commit to fixing the intercity fleet.(ABC News)none

The union and the state government have for months been at odds over the safety of the $2 billion intercity fleet, which has remained idle in maintenance sheds despite a planned rollout in 2019.

One of the main points of concern for the union is guards not being able to see children “during crucial moments”. 

Rolling strikes will start on Wednesday, August 10 from 10am to 4pm, with the union saying strikes will occur in one area at a time — meaning that trains will be able to continue to run in most areas of the state.

Commuters will also face rolling strikes on Wednesday, August 17, Tuesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 25.

Other industrial action includes a ban on operating foreign-made trains, transport officers not issuing fines and a ban on cleaners using vacuum cleaners or scrubbing machines.

Mr Claassens said he accepted there would be some impact on commuters, but said the union would try to minimise it.

“We’ve done a lot of work to ensure that our actions will impact management and the government and not the travelling public,” he said.

“There’s no reason why, with some planning and common sense, trains cannot continue to run relatively smoothly while our actions are happening.

“We understand that commuters will be frustrated because we’re frustrated too.”

ABC News says NSW Transport has been contacted for comment.

#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Aug.06: 2022:

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