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Sydney ferries come to standstill


15:57, May 27, 2013

SYDNEY, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Sydney ferry staff walked off the job without notice on Monday, suspending most services for three and a half hours.

Ferries resumed operating Monday afternoon after the staff agreed to abide by a one-month ban on industrial action.

The workers were angry about potential changes to their working hours -- with promises by the state government to deliver more wharves and a better timetable taking employees by surprise, said MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer.

"For most people, being told that there was going to be a restructure of the timetable simply means that one day they'll wake up and instead of the ferry leaving their wharf at 8.08am, it might be 9am or it might not be there at all," McAleer told AAP.

"That means they have to restructure the way in which they live their lives," he added.

A Harbour City Ferries spokeswoman said the union had called the action without first notifying management of their reasons.

Fair Work Australia ruled in favor of the operator on Monday after it sought an injunction against the union's action.

Meetings are planned for discussions between the two parties on Friday.

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