A new dispute between the NSW government and the union could cause the city’s train network to stop again, the state’s transportation minister said.
Transport Minister David Elliott says new threats of industrial action on the city’s rail network could cause Transport for NSW’s rail operators to close all trains in Sydney.
“There is a good chance that any of these industrial stocks over a long period of time could lead to rail management being able to limit services,” Mr Elliott said on Tuesday.
“I was advised that there is every possibility that we will not be able to launch the network,” he added.
It came after the Union of Railways, Trams and Buses on Tuesday demanded that the state government offer Sydney passengers free travel on Fridays until June to apologize for deciding to close all trains during a dispute with the union last month.
“You can’t just close the railroad without notice, falsely accuse workers of being behind it, and then hope everyone just forgets about it,” said RTBU NSW secretary Alex Klassens.
Earlier, the New South Wales government said it would give passengers free travel days as compensation, but no benefits appeared.
Mr Elliott said some passengers in the flood-affected regions had been without services for three weeks and he was not going to offer Richmond residents free fares when there were no trains.
Asked if people could see train disruptions or traffic stops, the transport minister said it depended on how many services needed repairs and what disruptions could potentially be caused by the industrial action.
The transport minister said decisions on when the grid would be shut down should be made by transport operators for New South Wales.