Further industrial action roll out as bus disputes continue

LAUREN BERICHON

Bus drivers refused to accept payments from passengers last week as negotiations over wages, safety and rostering systems broke down between the Rail, Train and Bus union and the Brisbane City Council. 

The dispute between bus drivers and the Council has entered its fifth week with  the RTBU bus drivers deciding on what their next plan of action will be.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the actions on Friday only affected union drivers so passengers had to be prepared to pay if need be.

 

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Union bus drivers refused fares last Friday. Photo: Lauren Berichon

“Not all drivers are performing that, that non-payment of fares, so we would ask that passengers continue to expect to have to pay a fare when they get to the bus,” Cr Quirk said. 

Rail, Train and Bus Union Secretary Tom Brown wrote a newsletter to the union members about a recent poll of the Union members.

Mr Brown said the poll results reflected the anger of the membership over the treatment they’ve received from the City Council during the negotiations.

“BCC must take responsibility for any action which occurs, not only because of their intransigence to date in the negotiations, but last [month] they advised that they were no longer prepared to continue to negotiate,” Mr Brown said.

The results of the newsletter poll given to the union bus drivers suggested future industrial actions will include a complete ban of collection of bus fares from passengers. Between 75 percent and 80 percent of drivers said they were in favour of stopping work.

 There is also a chance union drivers could work without wearing their uniforms, with a 60 percent vote for ‘Yes’ on this option.

Meanwhile, commuters travelling on the bus should expect to pay for their trip just in case of further industrial actions.

 

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