Sydney commuters should avoid public transport on Tuesday with a strike by NSW train drivers expected to cause disruptions throughout the day.
Trains will officially stop running from 9am for four hours but delays are expected from 7am across the Sydney Trains and NSW TrainLink networks.
The strike comes as unions continue negotiating a new enterprise agreement for workers but the parties remain at “loggerheads” over pay and other conditions.
Transport for NSW Chief Operations Officer Howard Collins urged Sydney commuters to avoid using all public transport if possible.
“Please find alternative means to travel, if you don't have to travel tomorrow please ensure you stay at home or use alternative means,” he told reporters on Monday.
TrainLink regional services will be cancelled and replaced with coaches while extra ferries and buses will be deployed in the city.
Sydney Trains chief executive Matt Longland said he had been proud of the transport workers' efforts during the pandemic so it was poor timing for a strike.
“Our frontline staff has done an amazing job during this COVID period to keep services operating safely,” he said.
“We are very disappointed that they've taken this action because we know that essential workers rely on rail services to get to work every day.”
NSW Trains Chief Executive Dale Merrick said he respected employees' rights to take industrial action as part of enterprise bargaining.
“But we would say it's not the right time,” he said.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW Secretary Alex Claassens earlier said workers at Sydney and NSW Trains remain at loggerheads.
“After the government heaped us with praise for putting ourselves and our families in harm's way during COVID in order to keep the community moving, we've now entered enterprise agreement negotiations and any notion of good will has completely disappeared,” Mr Claassens said last week.
The union is asking for a 3.5 per cent wage rise while the NSW government is offering 0.3 per cent for the first year of a new enterprise agreement.Internet Explorer Channel Network