This is an impassioned plea from the business community and the general public to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union to end the ongoing industrial action and come to an agreement with the government in the interests of all of us trying to make a living in Sydney.
Sydney businesses have suffered badly during the past two years due to the pandemic, continued wet weather, the lack of international tourists and backpackers, the lack of overseas students, the increasing costs caused by supply chain disruptions, staff shortages and war in Ukraine.
Businesses have had enough. Businesses and the general public are calling on representatives of the combined rail unions to stop the industrial action and work with the NSW government to resolve the ongoing disputes and disruptions to the Sydney train network.
These crippling industrial actions have greatly affected many millions of commuters and businesses who rely on the trains each day, including key workers, students, those who cannot work from home, holiday-makers and those attending important business and leisure events. The continued industrial action by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union has not only inconvenienced commuters and visitors to the city but has caused great harm to the NSW economy and seriously impacted hospitality, retail and entertainment businesses in the CBD that are still recovering from covid lockdowns.
Businesses have lost billions of dollars of revenue over the last three years and this continued and inconsiderate action by the rail unions could lead to more businesses going to the wall.
Our economy initially rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic but has since hit major hurdles due to labour shortages, supply chain disruption, inflation and soaring energy costs that have combined to push businesses closer to the edge of closure.
These ongoing rail disruptions could be the last straw for some and Business Sydney strongly urges the union to consider the public and business community as they negotiate with the government.
Sydney Trains is Australia’s biggest public transport system with an annual patronage approaching 400 million people and carries more passengers than Australia’s other four major urban rail operators combined.
Trains play a vital role in the lives of Sydneysiders, connecting them to their jobs, schools, recreation facilities, social activities, families, businesses and communities.
All Sydneysiders want are reliable, accessible and affordable journeys across all transport modes.
They expect increased levels of safety, cleanliness, reliability, accessibility and sustainability.
For the last year, Sydney trains have failed both commuters and businesses due to the ongoing failure by unions and the state government to resolve differences.
Enough is enough. Stop this industrial action and please provide a train service that is reliable, accessible and safe for our city.
Sydney and NSW deserve better. Paul Nicolaou is the executive director of Business Sydney