Commuters are in for a day of chaos as train and bus drivers go on strike to end long-running negotiations over pay, conditions and privatisation.
Platforms, train carriages and buses were all crammed with passengers on Tuesday morning across New South Wales – with those on their way to work told to expect major delays.
Tuesday marks the second day of strikes for public transport workers, with public school teachers also set to walk off the job over staff shortages and pay disputes.
On Monday, 1,200 bus drivers in Sydney’s inner west went on strike and stopped work for 24 hours.
Commuters are in for a day of chaos as train and bus drivers go on strike to end long-running negotiations over pay, conditions and privatisation (pictured in Sydney)
Platforms, train carriages and buses were all crammed with passengers on Tuesday morning across New South Wales – with those on their way to work told to expect major delays
Their unions are calling on the state government to demand its contractor Transit Systems negotiate over a two-tier wage system that has some workers earning less than others for doing the same job.
The strikes will cause further chaos on Tuesday with buses in the city’s southwest from Parramatta and Liverpool to stop services.
It’s expected 300 bus drivers in these areas will walk off the job on Tuesday.
Drivers from the inner west and south-west will then join forces on Friday and stop work for two hours amid peak travel times.
Bus commuters looking for alternative transport will be short of options, with train drivers refusing to operate foreign-made trains that run about three quarters of the services.
Passengers have shared photos of packed trains and buses to social media with one saying they were ‘crammed in like sardines’.
‘Got up earlier to catch the only train that would get me to work on time. It was delayed and so packed that it was impossible to board,’ another tweeted.
Others were frustrated they were unable to socially distance during their commute.
‘Trains are more packed than ever with this strike. Are we still social distancing?’ said another.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has been negotiating a new enterprise bargaining agreement after the old one expired in May.
Sydney Trains chief executive Matt Longland said Tuesday’s strikes were disappointing after more than 40 meetings between Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and the union, however the union says leaders they want to negotiate with have only just started coming to the table.
The union wants an end to privatisation, safety standards maintained and a commitment to retaining current hygiene standards while not relying on contractors to provide it.
Mr Longland said employees had been offered a 2.5 per cent pay increase, inclusive of superannuation.
Transport for NSW said Tuesday’s strikes meant services would run to a reduced frequency on most lines, make additional station stops and take longer to reach their destination.
More to come.
Source: Daily Mail UK