NSW and Sydney Train Strike: An Explainer

Why is there a Sydney Train strike? How will the strike affect you?

NSW and Sydney Train Strike

Workers at Sydney Trains and NSW Trains will strike on Monday 20 December and Tuesday 21 December. A network-wide full stoppage will occur overnight and stop all services, however 1-hour maintenance stoppages may reduce services on both Monday and Tuesday.

How will you be affected by the train strike?

A network-wide full stoppage will run from 8PM on Monday to 4AM Tuesday morning. This means no train services will run between 8PM and 4AM, including:

– North Shore and Western Line
– Inner West and Leppington Line
– Bankstown Line
– Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line
– Cumberland Line
– Airport and South Line
– Northern Line
– NSW TrainLink

Consecutive 1 hour work stoppages will also occur on Monday and Tuesday. This means maintenance and basic repairs will not occur (this excludes emergency response and repairs that pose serious safety risks). The effect of these 1 hour stoppages will see services reduced or cut on Monday 20 December and Tuesday 21 December.

Replacement buses will run in place of trains between stations.

More information will become available about which particular train services will continue to operate and where replacement buses will operate.

This is not the first disruption to regular operations on the train network. Over the past 3 months workers have taken actions which you may have noticed and not realised where part of a dispute with management.

This includes a one-day ban on cleaning graffiti on 10 September, a one-day overtime ban on 22 September and strike on 20 October. So why is this happening?

Why is the NSW and Sydney train strike happening?

Management and workers at Sydney Trains have been in workplace negotiations for nearly 9 months.

The issue at stake is a 3-year agreement which sets out conditions, safety and pay for train workers. Management at Sydney Trains have proposed:

– Removing the requirement to consult with workers on changes to safety and work practices;

– Reducing redundancy conditions to make it easier to eliminate jobs;
– Less full-time secure jobs in favour of more contract workers
– Changes to roles and responsibilities without telling workers how this will effect current positions.

    This is why workers have put in place one-day bans such as the overtime ban. 

    However, management has refused to budge on their proposal to reduce conditions and safety. So the workers are left with this choice: strike or accept less job security and less safe workplaces. 

    If management still refuses to budge, more strikes may occur over coming weeks and months.

    What can be done to stop the Sydney Train strike continuing?

    The management of Sydney Trains ultimately answers to the NSW Government and the Transport Minister. This means they are sensitive to public pressure.

    If the NSW Government or Train Management thinks the public is against their proposal to reduce job security and safety, they will go back to negotiations with the workers and offer a better agreement to stop the strikes.

    You can send a message that you support the workers, and think the management proposal is unreasonable, using the quick form below.

    Please note Unions NSW Office will be closed from Friday 24 Dec to Monday 17 Jan 2022.