Tensions remain high between Rail Tram Bus Union and Brisbane City Council following the Union’s industrial action last Friday.
Approximately 600 bus drivers went on strike between 2:00 and 6:00pm to protest security, wage, and rostering conditions. The strike caused major delays across Brisbane and heavily impacted on commuters during peak hour traffic.
Last Thursday, the Council and Union engaged in negotiations which lasted over six hours and failed to resolve issues regarding bus driver conditions.
Public and Active Transport Chairman, Adrian Schrinning is frustrated at the Union’s efforts to compromise.
“It is extremely disappointing that the RTBU would choose to proceed with this disruptive action, risking chaos across Brisbane’s transport network, despite Council’s willingness to work with drivers on concerns about safety and pay,” Mr Schrinning said.
Bus driver and union member, Geoff Pratt participated in the strike and is also disappointed by the lack of progress in negotiations.
“Bus driver assault is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Brisbane region and we are entitled to improved conditions and better pay…Everyone has the right to feel safe in the workplace and as bus drivers, we’re no different,” Mr Pratt said.
Despite the Council’s efforts to fill gaps with non-union members and casual workers, hundreds of commuters were forced to find alternative forms of transport, putting a strain on Brisbane’s taxi and Uber systems.
Taxi driver, Mansur Abadi remained booked throughout the strike period but sympathised with union members.
“As a former bus driver, there have certainly been times where I have felt unsafe and under-appreciated,” Mr Abadi said.
“This strike has inconvenienced a lot of travellers and I hope it raised enough awareness to improve conditions for drivers.”
After the four-hour strike on Friday afternoon, bus services resumed their regular schedule over the weekend, however more delays and strikes are likely to continue if parties are unable to reach an agreement.