CDC Victoria bus drivers have again gathered in great numbers on picket lines to take action for their future, their families, their standard of living, their pride and the 2018 Victorian Bus Industry Agreement!
Picket lines were established at CDC depots in Wyndham, Oakleigh, Ballarat, Sunshine and Geelong from 9am to 1pm.
Victorian bus driver pay rises are currently determined – and have been for the past 15 years – by the Annual Wage Growth system. The current CDC wage offer is less than at least the previous 12 average annual wage increases the drivers have received!!!
TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary and National Vice-President John Berger said while bus drivers take the community service aspect of their role very seriously, the fact they stopped CDC buses to stand in the cold sends a message to the rich multinational that Australian workers will not be ripped-off.
“It also tells you something about their resolve, committment and how insulted they were by CDC’s sub-standard offer,” John said.
“Many bus drivers, like many bus passengers, pay mortgages or rent, taxes, rates and school fees and have continually increasing grocery and utility bills. They want wage certainty and the current annual wage growth system has been too unreliable.”
Today’s strike follows industrial action last Friday that proceeded after Fair Work Commission (FWC) mediation held that morning failed to progress discussions.
The point should be reinforced that CDC itself applied to the FWC for mediation.
However, CDC not only failed to improve its current offer but used the mediation session to re-table a previously-rejected offer.
That offer had been put to the TWU by CDC CEO Nicholas Yap in a meeting on Monday 9 July and was rejected by the TWU during that same meeting on Monday 9 July.
Negotiations between the parties have been underway for nearly four months. CDC – and the entire Victorian Bus Industry – have been aware of what the drivers claims would be for nearly two years.
Mr Berger said around 95% of the drivers voted to take the action after receiving the rich multinational’s latest insulting wage offer.
He said the vast majority of CDC Victoria’s drivers are TWU members.
“Victorian bus drivers have not taken strike action for 20 years but there comes a time when you have to look after yourself and these drivers have drawn a line in the sand.
“We have also signed-up many new members from CDC in recent days who want to join their colleagues in the fight for a decent wage.”
CDC is Victoria’s third largest commuter bus operator and handles 49 essential bus routes under contract to the Victorian Government across Melbourne’s western and eastern suburbs – including Route 601 which is the busiest bus route in Victoria – and 25 in Ballarat and Geelong.