Warning: Sydney's Train Debacle Is About To Get A Whole Lot Worse

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Last week, Sydney's rail system went into complete meltdown and a lot of people were very unhappy about it. Things aren't about to get better.

That might sound like nothing unusual for the hardened Sydney commuter, but this was pretty bad, even by NSW Transport's standards. One person claiming to be a train driver posted this on Reddit:

Seriously, this is not going to get better, dump any hopes you have right now, the weekend will help but, come Monday, this situation is just going to get worse as Hornsby reopens, they will not have the spare Hornsby drivers to help prop up driver numbers in other areas. Also thanks to Mr Collins remarks about how this is all train crews' fault, a lot of us have decided that we don't wish to continue with the mass overtime that we have been putting in, therefore wont do overtime from our next roster which starts on the 21st.

As it turns out, things are indeed likely to get worse, with the Rail, Tram and Bus Union deciding that enough is enough, placing an indefinite ban on all overtime across the Sydney Trains network.

Workers will display union and industrial campaign materials from January 19, and following this from January 25, there will be an indefinite ban on all overtime.

In a statement released to the press a short time ago, the RBTU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said "We're incredibly disappointed we've had to get to this point. No one wants to take industrial action, but we haven't been left with any other options at this stage."

"No-one wants our transport system to run smoothly more than the workers themselves do. We'll keep commuters up-to-date with all the information we can."

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Comments

    As much as I feel for affected commuters this has become a necessity.

    The plan to introduce 1500 weekly services to the weekly schedule without a commensurate increase in drivers and staff is reckless and just the kind of a pressure-inducing mechanism that will cause a shit storm sooner than later. Consider last Wednesday when 18 services were closed down because Sydney Trains didn't have enough drivers or staff to operate them. Now look at the NSW government's response to this industrial action, claiming that withholding overtime will cripple the network. How bad must the paucity of staff and conditions be if the services of Sydney Trains are incapable of functioning sufficiently in these circumstances?

    There are massive structural problems with how Sydney Trains operates and how it is managed by the NSW government. With any luck this planned action will force an amelioration of the situation - best of luck to them.

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