Sydney sees transport chaos amid dispute between drivers, local govt

Thousands of frustrated commuters in Australia’s largest city of Sydney had to squeeze their way into overcrowded carriages on Wednesday due to a long-running dispute between train drivers and the New South Wales (NSW) government.

The strike, triggered by the nation’s peak transport union, the Rail, Tram, and Bus Union (RTBU), cutting the city’s train services by 75 per cent while some bus services were also halted adding to the commuting chaos, reports Xinhua news agency.

The RTBU has been at loggerheads with the NSW government since late July over perceived safety issues of a new fleet of trains along with a pay rise demand.

Describing the strike, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet was quoted by the national broadcaster the ABC as saying it was “absolutely disgraceful”.

“This ends today, I will not have our city grind to a halt, our people inconvenienced anymore,” Perrottet said.

Meanwhile, commuters on Wednesday were warned beforehand to prepare for significant delays and cancellations and to make alternative travel arrangements where possible.

Parents were also advised to make alternative arrangements for their children with school services also being affected.

Despite Perrottet’s statement, the RTBU and the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia (TWU) planned to hold another stop-work meeting on Wednesday afternoon to consider their next moves.

The RTBU said if trains still do not meet a minimum maintenance or cleanliness standard, they may continue to refuse to operate services.

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