Major disruptions for bus passengers expected on Tuesday

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Angry Busways drivers will walk off the job tomorrow as the Transport Workers Union’s (TWU) war with Busways escalates, causing disruption to commuters.

TWU members voted for more action to be taken during a one hour stoppage last Friday, September 7.

Drivers voted unanimously across five depots, including Penrith, to go ahead with further protected industrial action as they continue negotiations with Busways.

Assistant secretary of the TWU, Mick Pieri said action would continue until a new enterprise agreement could be agreed upon.

“This won’t end, it’s very important that Busways respect their drivers and do the right thing by them and that’s by actually coming and listening to their issues,” he said.

“Busways love to take things away from us, they’re always itching for a fight and now they’ve got one.”

Participating drivers will walk off the job between 6am and 7am on Tuesday, and between 4.30pm and 5.30pm. Participating drivers also continuing not to use Opal Card readers.

“We spoke to Busways and all they have come back with is a threat to dock 20 per cent of our workers’ pay,” Mr Pieri said.

“Busways have sent a letter to our drivers demanding that they pull over during the stoppage and leave our passengers stranded, we would never leave them like that and will continue to drop the remaining people off before participating in the strike.”

Managing Director at Busways, Byron Rowe said the pay rise drivers are seeking is unrealistic.

“We genuinely care about our employees… Contrary to the TWU’s recent claims, we pay our drivers fairly and are consistent with the top paying passenger transport operators,” Mr Rowe said.

“We are confident our meeting with the Fair Work Commissioner will assist us in reaching a fair resolution for both our employees and the company.”

Negotiations over a new enterprise agreement have been taking place since late last year.

Nicola Barton is the Weekender’s general news journalist, incorporating political affairs and crime.

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