Sydney bus drivers strike
Sydney bus drivers strike

Bus drivers across Sydney walked off the job on Tuesday as part of a dispute of pay increases, leaving passengers stranded.

Sydney bus drivers strike
Sydney bus drivers strike
Hundreds of drivers are taking part in strike action to dispute their pay and working conditions, with the drivers accusing the operator of services, Transit Systems, of failing to pass on increases in their salaries as agreed upon.

The strikes involving over 200 drivers were organised by the NSW Transport Workers Union, and union secretary Richard Olsen told Xinhua on Tuesday that the drivers have been taken advantage of for the past two and a half years.

“Our membership is frustrated, they feel let down by their company. After two and a half years of negotiations, they were unable to reach an enterprise agreement with the company,” Olsen said. “Which means they haven’t been given a wage increase in two and a half years.”

This may not be the end of the dispute, with Olsen stressing that the drivers will continue to fight until their demands are met, with the 1.1 million dollars (835,000 U.S. dollars) being allocated by the government to provide for wage rises, not being passed on to the drivers.

“This is only the first of many stoppages that we will have in our industrial campaign until such time as this matter is resolved.”

The strike is affecting not only the regular bus commuters, but traffic across the western region of Sydney, with media outlets reporting traffic delays extending across major roads and highways.

One of the bus drivers involved in the dispute, Darren Woods, told Seven News that although the drivers understand the “unfortunate” situation for passengers and motorists, they needed to take a stand.

“We are the only (bus) company in Sydney that hasn’t received any money from the government from the company,” Woods said.

“Nothing is stopping them, we really are at wits end.”

A spokesperson for the Transport for NSW said they hoped the issue could be resolved as soon as possible for the sake of the many school children who will be affected by the lack of services in Sydney’s west.

“Transport for NSW is monitoring the situation closely. The priority here is to keep our customers informed of what’s going on and keep disruptions to a minimum,” the spokesperson said.

“Transport for NSW has been working closely with the operator to make sure this happens.” Enditem

Source: Will Koulouris, Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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