Transport Minister blames union for Sydney Trains debacle
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance believes this week’s train chaos was brought on by covert industrial action by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.
Rail commuters faced hours of delays across Monday and Tuesday with dozens of services cancelled.
Sydney Trains boss Howard Collins revealed the situation was brought on by a combination of severe weather and a significant spike in driver sickness.
The Minister joined Steve Price in the studio to explain the situation and has hinted train drivers and the union may have intentionally disrupted services.
Price, “Are you absolutely 100% sitting there and telling me that you don’t believe that any of the sicknesses by drivers is a try-on to put stress on the system?”
“I have no evidence but one thing I would say to the union is this… we want to put more trains in and the union should have the same aspiration. If they’ve got concerns around staffing, well give us the exact numbers.”
Price, “That suggests to me that you might have some suspicion?”
“Well I haven’t seen any evidence yet, but I tell you what… this week they’re voting for a 24% pay rise.
“There’s a lot of media being done, there’s not enough meetings.
“Quite frankly, yesterday they spent the day negotiating the enterprise agreement… if this ballot comes in as a yes to strike action for a 24% pay rise… I will stare them down.”
Yesterday Rail, Tram and Bus Union State Secretary Alex Claassens categorically denied they are committing industrial espionage.
Minister Constance was also confronted by a train driver who called in accusing him of undervaluing staff.
Click PLAY below for the full interview and the train driver’s call
Earlier Opposition Leader Luke Foley spoke with Steve, claiming the government’s new timetable is to blame for the delays.
Click PLAY below to listen.