NSW supply chains face significant disruptions as the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) refuses to confirm exemptions for rail freight services from tomorrow’s industrial action.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the planned four-hour stoppage would directly impact about 40 freight services – about a third of all daily rail freight movements across the Sydney Trains managed network.

“We do not yet have a concession from the RTBU to allow rail signalers to work during the four-hour strike period, which will mean rail freight across Greater Sydney, outer metro areas like the Illawarra and Newcastle as well as parts of Regional NSW will come to a complete standstill,” Mr Farraway said.

“I am disappointed with the RTBU’s decision to go ahead with this action which will have an impact on freight, delaying the movement of critical goods around the State and commodities to ports.

“First the Mariyung Fleet, that will operate passenger services, was used as a hostage for union negotiations and now our local commodities are. It’s a joke.

“Freight trains are a pivotal support for industries which have faced challenging times through the Covid-19 pandemic and recent extreme weather events.

“Businesses have taken a massive hit and now they face further impacts because the RTBU believes it deserves a record pay increase.

“The unions say these strikes are about them standing up for their members’ livelihoods but they don’t seem to care about the livelihoods of NSW commuters and businesses.”

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