McGill's & Alexander Dennis
South East Transport Changes from 2 December
Featured Bus Route – October 2018
DATE FOR THE DIARY - 25th November - Finchley Bus Running Day
Alexander Dennis & Lothian
Buses on Parade
The non-Inner West bus routes to be privatised
Leeds Considering Hydrogen Powered Buses
New CEO for First Group & Results for Six Months to September 2018
Alexander Dennis at Euro Bus Expo 2018
Transport Workers Union (TWU) members who drive buses for CDC Victoria began striking at 4:00am in the first industrial action of its kind in two decades.
The company is offering a wage increase of 2.5 per cent but the union is arguing for 4 per cent.
The strike was expected to shut down all of Ballarat's bus network and half of the bus network in Geelong.
Parts of Melbourne's east and west are also affected, including the Oakleigh, Sunshine and Wyndham depot bus routes.
TWU national vice president John Berger said the decision to strike was not taken lightly, but 95 per cent of members voted in favour of strike action.
"This is the first time bus drivers have taken action for 20 years. We don't take that action lightly so we apologise to the general public," he said.
Fleets of buses were parked along strike picket lines at CDC depots in Wyndham, Oakleigh, Geelong and Ballarat, with drivers crowding at the entrance.
The company is understood to be offering a Sunday timetable service in Geelong but it was not clear whether there would be any services elsewhere.
Commuters were advised to make alternative arrangements.
'Lowest paid, hardest working'
Mr Berger said the strike was just the first step in the process and action would continue on Friday and next Tuesday if the dispute was not resolved.
Drivers make between $26 and $28 an hour and work between the hours of 4:00am and 1:30am, the union said.
George Joseph, who has been driving for the company for nine years, said the wage increase offered was not good enough.
"Let's be frank. After 10 hours it's 80 cents," he said.
"You can't get a lollipop for 80 cents.
"I think in this industry we are the lowest paid bus drivers and we are the hardest working people."
Driver Rod Leitch said all of his colleagues were "fired up and keen to see this through".
"All our drivers have regular bus runs, regular people who get on the bus," he said.
"Yeah, we feel for the passengers, but there's a time when you have to look after yourself and … today is it."
In a statement issued before the strike, CDC Victoria apologised to customers and said the action would cause "significant disruptions" on 74 routes.
"Our drivers do a very important job and we feel this wage offer demonstrates our support for them," the company said.
Jereon Weimar, the chief executive of Public Transport Victoria (PTV), said commuters needed to be prepared to change their travel plans.
"It's disappointing that this action will be going ahead as it will cause real inconvenience to many of our bus passengers," he said.
Commuters unaware of strike
Signs posted along the affected routes in Footscray warned of service disruptions but were not clear enough, according to Dee Stanton, who was trying to get to a hospital medical appointment.
"It doesn't say X amount are cancelled or the whole day is cancelled so I just thought I'd wait," she said.
"I actually have an appointment at the hospital so I'm a little bit annoyed."
Shiee Shibu normally gets the bus along Geelong Road to work at Footscray and didn't know the buses wouldn't be coming.
"No, we were not aware the bus was not running. I would've been waiting and waiting," she said.
A full list of affected services is available at the PTV website.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.