A rail union has taken steps to make Sydney train rides free “as soon as possible”, after a previous attempt at opening gates failed.
Sydney commuters could get free train rides as a union seeks to shut down the Opal card network.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has made a renewed attempt at shutting down the ticket readers and keeping gates open.
The union is hoping to starve the state government of ticket revenue as part of a long-running battle over a new enterprise agreement.
RTBU secretary Alex Claassens said on Monday the union had submitted a new application to the Fair Work Commission after a previous plan to open ticket gates was thwarted by the government.
A train union hopes to shut down ticket readers at Sydney stations.
“As soon as we can, we’re going to turn those Opal Card machines off again, and we’ll be giving the commuters in New South Wales free travel, until of course the government comes to their senses and agrees to sit down with us and negotiate, and fix our unsafe trains and agree on decent wages and conditions for our members.”
The RTBU announced their intentions to shut down the machines last week.
But the government responded with an application to the Fair Work Commission in which it asked the union plan to be found “unprotected”.
Employee Relations Minister Damien Tudehope and Transport Minister David Elliott issued a joint statement on Saturday in which they described the union‘s plan as “destructive”.
SRail, Tram and Bus Union NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said the machines would be shut down as soon as possible.
“Sydney Trains and NSW Train Link believe the notified action is also unsafe and could cause financial impacts on commuters.
“The submission comes after the Combined Rail Unions rejected a number of formal requests from transport officials to withdraw the action.”
Ticket inspectors were seen at some Sydney train stations on Monday morning, including at Central.
The NSW government previously made train rides free for a 12-day period around Easter as a way to say sorry for shutting down the train network, a move that was also made in the context of the longrunning industrial dispute with train staff.