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Sydney train shutdown ‘co-ordinated attack’ by Labor, unions: Dominic Perrottet


At Sydney International Airport on Monday Mr Perrottet said he was advised the network timetable could not be changed safely, after the unions took a “different approach” to an agreement reached at the weekend”.

The Premier said he was advised early this morning by Sydney Trains that they could not safely change the timetable system in time to operate on Monday.

He did not outline the specific safety concerns but said there were “a range of factors”.

“You don’t just turn a train system in two hours. The timetable had been set,” he said.

“There are a number of technical issues in relation to the time it takes to set a timetable… that ensures that all trains are operating in a safe way.

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Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW secretary Alex Claassens said the agreement reached late Saturday came back before the commission on Sunday due to confusion around “altered working”.

Mr Claassens said altered working was a complex issue best described as going to work at a particular time, but not knowing the duties that one would perform.

The union earlier said workers had turned up to work to engage in “low-level protected industrial action” only to be told by rail management officials that trains would not be operating.

“It’s Transport for NSW and the government’s call to shut down the network,” Mr Claassens said.

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However, the Premier said he would not accept that the rail fiasco was “not politically motivated by Labor and the unions.”

Mr Minns said only the government could be accused of not turning up to work on Monday.

“The NSW government needs to sit down and work this out. Perrottet shut down the rail network. He needs to work to open it back up,” he said.

Opposition transport spokeswoman Jo Haylen on Monday morning said the government needed to stop “hurling insults at rail workers” and sit down with the union to negotiate an outcome.

“This is not a strike. Transport workers stand ready to get the trains running now,” Ms Haylen tweeted.

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