Since late 2017 TWU Members driving for Busways have been trying to negotiate a new agreement for pay and conditions. TWU Members held stop work meetings today following further frustrating delays for drivers caused by Busways at the Fair Work Commission (FWC) on Thursday this week.
Busways attended the FWC still not ready to negotiate with drivers, seeking a delay till Tuesday to present a new agreement with no consultation of drivers.
Angry and frustrated drivers who have faced threats, pay docking and unconscionable demands regarding passenger safety from Busways see very little choice but to announce further stop work meetings in an attempt to get the company to the table.
Depots: Busways Penrith, Windsor, Blacktown, Wyong and Gosford.
• Stop Work Meeting 1: Wednesday 26 September 6am to 9am
• Stop Work Meeting 2: Wednesday 26 September 3pm to 6 pm
• Stop Work Meeting 3: Thursday 27 September 6am to 9am
• Stop Work Meeting 4: Thursday 27 September 2pm to 5pm
Busways told the Fair Work Commission they were instructing drivers involved in the stop work meetings to park buses on the side of the road even if there are passengers on board. Drivers see that this is an unconscionable action by Busways that breaches safety protocols. Drivers will not be part of taking passengers hostage. School authorities are being notified of the peak hour meetings.
Richard Olsen, State Secretary of the TWU said, “We are aware that this will inconvenience commuters, and for that we apologise. But drivers need to protect their pay and conditions and Busways are refusing the drivers a right to negotiate. Busways is bullying and intimidating their drivers.”
Other action by drivers will still be continued:
• Overtime bans
• Bus refuelling bans
• Fare free days, some opal machines are not being switched on.
Richard Olsen said, “it is not too late for Busways, the power to prevent this action is in their hands. Come to the table and negotiate properly with your drivers who are vital to the communities of the Central Coast and Western Sydney and vital to the success of the Busways business. We also thank the many commuters who have given drivers their support”
The TWU has written to the Transport Minister, Andrew Constance. We are seeking his intervention in the dispute. We know that the Minister will be concerned about Busways continued arrogance towards their drivers, their passengers and the NSW Government Contracts they operate. We have no doubt that the Minister would be concerned to see the issue resolved as quickly as possible.
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