NSW commuters face more industrial action

Hannah RyanAAP
Sydney commuters are being encouraged to avoid travelling on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.
Camera IconSydney commuters are being encouraged to avoid travelling on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. Credit: AAP

Sydney's commuters could again face major disruption as drivers threaten further industrial action that will see trains stop completely for eight hours, the state's transport agency has warned.

Sydney Trains Chief Executive Matt Longland said it is disappointing rail unions are planning action on Monday evening while they are negotiating with Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink.

"We have made a lot of progress with the unions, listened to dozens of concerns and reached agreement on several points," Mr Longland said.

"That it is not enough to stop them from taking this action, just days before Christmas, which only inconveniences our customers."

The eight-hour stoppage will begin at 8pm on Monday, but train frequency will slow from 6pm to prepare.

Buses will replace train services on all lines between 8pm and 4am.

Sydney commuters are being encouraged to avoid travelling on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.

Intercity and regional services will also be affected. Some of those services will be suspended from 3.30pm on Monday, resuming 5.30am on Tuesday.

Transport for NSW is warning that people could be left stranded by the service impacts.

There will be flow-on effects throughout the week, as it's the busiest time of year and many services are nearly fully booked, Transport for NSW said.

"This is significant disruption that means many regional and rural customers will not be able to travel, have a dislocated journey on road coaches or will need to make other plans," NSW TrainLink Chief Executive Dale Merrick said in a statement.

"This will particularly impact regional customers and means they may not make it home for Christmas. This is unfair on our customers who travel to regional NSW, who need to connect with family and friends across NSW and interstate."

The warning comes after more than one-in-five Sydney commuters had to find another way to work amid industrial action on Tuesday.

RTBU members refused to drive foreign-built trains, which run about 75 per cent of services.

The enterprise agreement covering more than 10,000 staff expired in May, and after dozens of meetings over several months a new one has still not been struck.

The RTBU NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said on Friday the government is continuing to refuse to deliver on "basic safety, hygiene and privatisation asks".

Transport for NSW said workers have formally been offered new enterprise agreements, including a 2.5 per cent pay rise in the first year.

"Workers are taking a stand for safety. We want basic hygiene, safety and privatisation commitments and we simply can't let the NSW government get away with no delivering them," Mr Claassens said.

"These aren't just issues that impact workers - these are issues that impact every single person who gets on a train."

Mr Longland said it was a good offer and that the organisation wanted to move forward.

The RTBU has been contacted for comment.

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