City News

Greens MP speaks against ‘arrogant union busting’ during week of strikes

Rail Tram and Bus Union Strike

Rail workers will engage in a week-long strike to protest unsafe working conditions, despite threats of fines. Photo: Facebook.

By AMBER GRIFFIN

Greens MP and Industrial Relations Spokesperson Jenny Leong has condemned the NSW government’s threats over massive fines for unions who engage in industrial action.

“The NSW Liberal National Government’s proposal to increase fines on unions for striking is an attack on workers who dare to take to the streets for their rights and conditions” Leong said.

NSW Minister for Finance and Employee Relations Damien Tudehope announced last week that unions could face up to $55,000 on the first day of strikes, and $27,500 for each day of actions.

“This is arrogant union busting, designed to undermine and attack workers who are doing one of the most powerful things they can ─ walk off the job for their rights and conditions” Leong stated in a recent media release.

“Instead of whacking unions with big fines, this government must fix the conditions that are pushing people to go on strike in the first place.”

Public transport delays expected

Even under threat of significant fines, The Rail, Tram and Bus Union initiated strike action this week, causing delays to the public transport system. The strike stems from the NSW government cancelling a union meeting with transport officials on June 24.

“It’s time to rethink your travel plans for the week”, Transport for NSW said in a statement, saying that trains are “expected to run on an amended timetable with a reduction of up to 50 per cent of normal services during the peak period”.

Due to the 40,000 union members taking strike action over pay and work conditions, rail firms are urging Sydneysiders not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Teachers strike for fair pay

Teachers will also take industrial action during the week of strikes across Sydney.

With the support of The NSW Teachers Federation and the Independent Education Union of Australia, Public and Catholic school teachers will strike for fair wages and a solution to staff shortages across NSW.

The Greens also released a media statement giving general support for all unions taking action this week, saying that they “firmly believe that teachers, nurses and midwives, transport workers, and all public sector workers deserve fair wages and vastly improved conditions”.

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