we will bargain together

14 December 2021

Dear Members,

Unfortunately, we are again at a juncture where we have to fight for basic respect from Sydney Trains. You may remember a couple of weeks ago, Shunters took a stand and wore their shorts to work. In retaliation, Sydney Trains refused to allow them to work and sent them home. Our Shunters taking action was supported by members at the ROC and Train Crew at the maintenance centres.

After playing management’s game for the past week, we have been advised that they will not change their position on this important issue to members. A decision has therefore been made to escalate the action and try and bring this issue to head.

From 0001 on Wednesday until 1159 on Friday, Shunters will be banning any work where contractors are involved at any stage in the process of trains being prepared to enter service. This ban will apply to Mortdale, Flemington, and Hornsby Maintenance Centres.

We have prepared the following examples to illustrate the operation of this ban:

  1. A contract cleaner cleans a train overnight before it enters into service that day, Shunters will not perform work in connection with that train.
  2. A train is maintained or worked on by contractors (such as EDI) overnight before a train enters into service that day, Shunters will not perform work in connection with that train.
  3. A manager that is employed by Transport for NSW (rather than Sydney Trains) gives directions associated with a train entering into service that day, Shunters will not perform work in connection with that train

For this ban, member communication is vital. If you see a contractor floating around performing work on trains, be sure to tell your union delegate, speak to an organiser, or directly to a Shunter. This way, no trains will fall through the cracks.

Remember, this action is not against the contractors we work with. We believe that contractors deserve well paid, secure jobs, with Sydney Trains. That’s why we have a claim to ensure that contractors who work for Sydney Trains for 3 months have the option to be made permanent. These workers deserve better than the exploitation they experience day in day out by dodgy contractor employers and Sydney Trains turning a blind eye.

It’s unfortunate that our Shunters have to continue this fight for a basic right, like the right to be comfortable at work. Nevertheless, here we are, and we will all stand together to support our Shunters in this fight.

In Unity,


Issued & authorised by Alex Claassens, Secretary, Rail, Tram and Bus Union – NSW Branch

Level 4, 321 Pitt Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 92642511
Fax: (02) 92611342

Last modified: 14/12/2021