Australia 'It will be gridlock' – bus drivers to strike in Melbourne

16:51  10 august  2018
16:51  10 august  2018 Source:   theage.com.au

Victoria's biggest ever bus strike called off at 11th hour

  Victoria's biggest ever bus strike called off at 11th hour A major bus strike in Victoria threatening to cruel the commute of tens of thousands of people on Thursday has been called off after an 11th hour intervention by the Andrews government. A breakthrough in negotiations between the Transport Workers Union and bus operators Transdev and CDC Victoria has been brokered by the government three months out from an election.The action would have shut down a total of 120 bus routes, and one third of the metropolitan bus network, with more than 1000 drivers at Transdev and CDC set to walk off the job.

Share. Bus passengers in Melbourne ’s eastern and western suburbs, as well as in Ballarat and Geelong, will face significant disruptions on Tuesday when CDC Victoria bus drivers go on strike .

More than 70 bus routes in Melbourne 's east and west and Ballarat and Geelong will be affected, according to Public Transport Victoria's website. Bus routes affected by driver strike .

More than a thousand bus drivers will go on strike on Thursday.© Chris Hopkins More than a thousand bus drivers will go on strike on Thursday.

More than 1000 Victorian bus drivers will refuse to get behind the wheel for 24-hours as they strike for better pay, leaving passengers in Melbourne and other parts of the state to rethink their commute.

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Across Melbourne, to Geelong and Ballarat, 120 routes will be impacted on Thursday.

"That will bring the CBD to a standstill. It will be gridlock," Rick Smith, who has been driving for eight years, told AAP.

Drivers want a four per cent pay rise and one per cent superannuation increase as part of their new enterprise bargaining agreement.

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Avoiding gridlock will require a wholesale shift of travel choices from driving alone to shared travel, bicycling and walking. MTC’s highest funding priority is a system of toll lanes, which enable solo drivers to pay to use carpool lanes.

Some Victorian bus passengers will need to rethink their commute with more than 70 routes out of action as hundreds of drivers strike for better pay. A two-hour meeting on Monday failed to strike a deal, Mr Berger said. More than 70 bus routes in Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne 's eastern and

Transport Workers Union national vice-president John Berger said members had postponed work bans and stoppages for the past two weeks while negotiations took place.

In a statement, the TWU said it wanted the 2018 Victorian Bus Industry Agreement to move away from "the unreliable" Average Weekly Earnings wage increase model to fixed percentage agreements with bus operators.

The union said it informed all Victorian bus operators of its desire over three years ago but "in a sign of good faith" had postposed stoppages for the past two weeks in an attempt to come to an agreement with bus operators CDC.

But discussions stalled on Friday and an agreement could not be reached.

Mr Berger said while bus drivers did not "take any joy in inconveniencing the community they serve" they needed to "look after themselves and their own families".

“These hard-working members are worth more than what the company have put on the table and have indicated that they are willing to continue to fight for a decent living wage and a secure future,” he said.

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