Victorian bus passengers will travel for free from Saturday as part of ongoing industrial action
CDC Victoria bus drivers have voted to escalate their protected industrial campaign against the company by refusing to collect fares or switch on Myki card readers.
The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) gave notice to CDC on Wednesday afternoon that its members planned to refuse to collect fares indefinitely from the first bus this Saturday, 21 July, as part of its ongoing pay dispute with the Singapore-based multinational.
TWU members have also elected to not wear company uniforms from this Saturday.
The ‘fare strike’ will be taken by all 600 TWU members at CDC’s Wyndham, Geelong, Ballarat, Oakleigh and Sunshine depots. The vast majority of CDC bus drivers are TWU members.
TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary John Berger said CDC drivers had decided to take the direct action of refusing to sell tickets or activate Myki readers from a suite of options available to them.
A protected work stoppage scheduled for this Friday has now been called off.
“We have stopped the buses three times now and have the option to do that again next week, so that is certainly not off the table. We will simply continue to campaign – and consider using any and all tools available to us – until a fair agreement acceptable to our members is reached,” Mr Berger said.
“The TWU and its members are available anytime to continue negotiations and if CDC wants to table a sensible offer then we may start to see the end of this dispute.”
Victorian bus driver pay rises are currently determined – and have been for at least the past 15 years – by the Annual Wage Growth system.
The current CDC wage offer is actually less than at least the last 15 average annual wage increases the drivers have received.
The actions continue after Fair Work Commission (FWC) mediation held last Friday failed to progress discussions.
CDC itself applied to the FWC for mediation, but not only failed to improve its current offer, it 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 over four months.
Please be advised: TWU members have requested that CDC bus 137 be exempt from the action as it performs a function for special needs school children.