The Electrical Trades Union has condemned the NSW Government and Premier Perrottet for shutting down Sydney’s train network causing chaos across the city. ETU NSW Secretary, Allen Hicks said the Premier and Government must bear full responsibility for the commuter inconvenience. “Rather than sit down and negotiate in good faith, the Premier and the Government have decided to cancel train services, wreaking chaos across the Sydney transport system,” Mr Hicks said. “The Premier is directly responsible for this aggressive, unilateral and unnecessary shut down by Sydney Trains.” The ETU has more than 1,000 members at Sydney Trains who have been taking industrial action for four months. Every ETU member is at work today continuing to provide essential maintenance and safety services. Sydney Trains is currently demanding that workers take a cut to real pay while sacrificing major conditions. The company has offered just 2% per annum pay increases compared to official inflation in calendar year 2021 which was 3.5%.
The State Government Wages Cap is 2.5% but rail workers have been offered just 2%, along with the 0.5% superannuation increase which the Government is legally required to pay. This means workers are being asked to fund their own superannuation increase. Sydney Trains has also attacked ETU member conditions, seeking to force them to work every weekend along with increased night shifts. ETU members have firmly rejected these proposed changes which would destroy work life balance. Despite this, the ETU has been careful to avoid inconveniencing the public and has ensured the network operates safely at all times. Mr Hicks said the Premier had the power to end the chaos now and must do so. “We call on Premier Perrottet to act immediately to resolve this dispute and get the trains running. He must put commuters first and personally sit down with ETU and Combined Rail Union leaders to resolve this dispute,” Mr Hicks said. “The ETU remains open to a fair and reasonable EBA offer that meets our members’ key demands: a fair pay rise, job security, no loss of conditions and an end to privatisation.”