Australian rail unions will have to wait until next year to know if opal card readers can legally be turned off at Sydney rail stations in an ongoing labor dispute with the New South Wales government .
On Tuesday afternoon, Judge Elizabeth Raper rejected a petition by the Union of Rail, Tram and Bus Industries to expedite a hearing on whether the proposal to stop readers was legal and protected.
The bid for the expedition, which was also backed by the NSW government-run Sydney Trains, last week after a judge said the court was not merely an ‘advisor’ to the organization on whether certain industrial actions were permissible. was rejected.
The railroad union asked the federal court for a speedy response so it would know as soon as possible whether it could proceed without exposing the company or its members to legal risk.
On Monday, Judge Laper also rejected another request by RTBU for her to step down as director in question.
Hearings are currently being held over two days in February or March, though dates have not yet been set.
The court will determine whether the proposals made in August and September of this year to turn off Opal card readers were in fact industrial action protected by a voting order by the Fair Labor Commission.
The question of whether the current proposal to switch readers off, announced by the union on 16 October, is industrial action will also be considered.
Labor unions and the government are sticking to a protracted secrecy over a new corporate deal, and are also at odds over a South Korean-made intercity train fleet that has been in storage since 2019.
Labor unions say it’s still not safe to run trains in NSW, but the government insists it is.
A spokesperson for Transport for NSW referred to the court’s decision.
“Transport for New South Wales continues to take the appropriate steps necessary to minimize the impact of the union’s planned actions on commuters,” they said.
“Sydney Trains and NSW Trains continue to work to finalize the new corporate contract.”
RTBU did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2022/10/25/federal-court-stalls-union-action-opal-card-sydney-train-stations/ Federal Court Stops Union Lawsuit At Sydney Station