The Transport Workers’ Union of NSW has today commenced proceedings against Busways at the Fair Work Commission after TWU members who undertook legally protected industrial action were docked four hours’ pay.
The Fair Work Act prohibits adverse action being taken against a person because that person takes part in an industrial activity. TWU NSW asserts that Busways’ move to dock workers’ pay is in contravention of the Act.
TWU members in five Busways depots – Penrith, Blacktown, Windsor, Gosford and Wyong – have been taking part in industrial action, which has included fare-free days and two one-hour work stoppages, to bring attention to Busways refusal to negotiate a fair Enterprise Agreement.
Busways’ conduct during this process has been unprofessional, antagonistic and even potentially dangerous, having formally instructed drivers to keep passengers parked on the side of the road for the one hour duration of each of yesterday’s work stoppages. Drivers did not comply, as doing so would have seriously endangered passenger safety and put drivers at major risk of harassment and assault.
Further industrial action will occur next week. The nature of this action will be voted upon by members on Tuesday. More information to come.
Richard Olsen, TWU NSW State Secretary says, “Busways has shown from day one how little respect it has for bus drivers, but this is next-level. These drivers took part in legally protected industrial action and are entitled to do so without being threatened or punished.”
“All this says to us is that Busways is getting desperate. They know the community supports the bus drivers, so now they’re trying now to discredit them and frighten them into giving up.”
“These scare tactics will not work, and we won’t let them get away with it.”
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