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The Rail Union is turning off all Opal machines for one week out of protest

This industrial action is triggered by an ongoing battle with the NSW State Government

Written by
Maya Skidmore

In breaking news for Sydney commuters, the NSW Rail Union has announced that they will be switching off all Opal reader machines across Sydney’s train stations for one week, with it all kicking off on September 21. 

This move is a product of the sustained industrial action and open-warfare between the rail union and the NSW state government, with this news coming off the backend of the union’s Fair Work Commission fight with the government over a new pay deal for rail workers that has resulted in ongoing disruptions across the Sydney rail network in the last month. 

Opal machines will all be completely turned off as a result of this continued battle between the unions and government, with NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union secretary Alex Claassens saying to the Sydney Morning Herald that this measure is all about targeting the government rather than individual members of the public. 

“We want to put pressure on the government and senior bureaucrats, not the travelling public”, he said. 

“We’re making sure that they’re going to be kept open and working the way we want them to work so people don’t have to pay”. Claassens added. 

This industrial action has been called “economic sabotage” by Transport Minister David Elliot, with him saying that turning off the machines will cost taxpayers millions in lost fare revenue. 

You can travel for free on Sydney trains from Wednesday, September 21, with more details expected to emerge in coming days. 

Want to take advantage of this news over the long weekend? Here are the best day trips you can go on from Sydney only using public transport.

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