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Byron Shire
June 25, 2024

Road workers strike first time in decades

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None of us like navigating potholes and landslip-damaged roads and this week we’ll have to wait an extra day as road workers, construction crews and other Transport for NSW (TfNSW) workers will walk off the job for the first time in decades on Thursday, as frustrations over the NSW Government’s effective pay cut boil over.

Workers are outraged their important contributions are being rewarded by the NSW Government with a pay offer that would represent a significant step backward in living standards.

Transport for NSW workers will down tools at 6am Thursday and not resume work again until 6am Friday. The workers, spread across 69 depots throughout the state, will gather outside the front gates of major depots at 9am, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge depot and Civic Park in Newcastle.

Union committed to supporting ongoing industrial action

The Australian Workers’ Union, which represents the striking workers, has committed to supporting ongoing industrial action until change is achieved.

AWU NSW Branch Organiser Cameron Wright said men and women work tirelessly to keep our state moving during recent bushfires and flood catastrophes. ‘During the pandemic they put on their work gear and went out into an uncertain world while the rest of us were locked down.

‘And now Dom Perrottet wants to tell them all to cop a pay cut. It’s just not going to fly.

Three per cent increase feels like two and a half per cent

‘The Premier likes to talk about his “three per cent” wage increase offer, but in reality it’s two and a half per cent per cent, because he’s counting the mandated increase in superannuation.

‘So with inflation running at over five per cent, the average road worker is being told to feed their family with significantly less.

Mr Wright said that these workers don’t take industrial action lightly – in fact they haven’t been on strike in a generation. ‘But you can only be pushed so far and this state government has done that pushing.

‘If Dom Perrottet and his government doesn’t return to the negotiating table in a more reasonable state of mind there’s going to be a lot more days like today.’

Unions have given TfNSW management a commitment members will make themselves available to respond to genuine emergency situations to keep the general public safe given recent weather events.

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