NSW train commuters are being affected by targeted strikes, with some services cancelled as the rail union continues long-running industrial action.
Sydney Trains chief executive Matt Longland said the strike would affect about about 70,000 commuters who regularly travel on Sydney’s T4 Eastern line, the Illawarra and South Coast lines.
Services were to operate normally until about 9am Wednesday, when trains would return to stabling yards and depots before the industrial action started at 10am.
“We won’t be back to a full timetable on the T4 service until around about five or 5.30 in the afternoon,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Wednesday.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Alex Claassens said the train services should not have been suspended, with about 90 per cent of train crews still available to work.
“If [the network] is shut down, it will be because transport bureaucrats have simply decided they don’t want to run the trains, not because they can’t,” he said on Monday.
The action was designed so that services could continue, with the union intending for it to cause headaches for management and the government not commuters.
The union is seeking to secure changes to a new fleet of intercity trains and reach a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
The trains, which the union says are not safe, have been sitting in storage since 2019 and the previous enterprise agreement expired more than a year ago.
Three more area-based strikes are planned before the end of the month. Workers will also leave station gates open and refuse to operate foreign-built trains on some days.
The union is also banning work associated with the Sydney Metro transit project until September 10.