Around 300 bus drivers working for major operator the Dyson Group will stop work for 24 hours next Tuesday after receiving Fair Work Commission approval to walk off the job.
TWU members voted to take the action following months of negotiations and after receiving the company’s latest sub-standard and insulting wage offer.
The strike follows other authorised protests taken recently by Victorian bus drivers – the first such industrial actions to hit the Victorian bus industry for two decades.
Dyson’s is one of Victoria’s largest independent bus companies and handles 42 essential Public Transport Victoria bus routes in Melbourne and across Victoria. However, the TWU have decided not to strike across regional Victoria, given the heavy dependence on public transport in these areas.
TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary and TWU National Vice-President John Berger said members were fighting for a more secure future for themselves and their families.
“Dyson’s would have seen other TWU bus members strike on several occasions this year and they know we are serious in taking this action,” John said.
“We are available for constructive talks with the company at any time, but we are also prepared to stand together in a picket on Tuesday if the company does not come to the table.
“These drivers are hard-working members of the community who have mouths to feed and bills to pay. As it stands, they believe there is no other option but to take this action.”
For nearly two decades, bus drivers have received wage increases based on unreliable Victorian Average Weekly Earnings percentage increases. Given the rise in the cost of living and low wage growth, TWU members are fighting for the current Bus Industry Agreement claim of a set 4% wage and 1% superannuation increase for the life of the agreement.
Dysons are not the only Victorian bus operator to be negotiating wages this year. The TWU have already successfully secured the 2018 Bus Industry Agreement for over 3000 CDC, Transdev and Ventura drivers.
The stop work will begin from the return of the last bus on Monday, 17 December, until the first bus scheduled to leave the depot on Wednesday, 19 December. Picket lines will be in place at various depots.
The TWU informed all Victorian bus operators – through Bus Industry Victoria – over three years ago, and repeatedly since, that TWU Victorian Delegates had voted unanimously to pursue fixed increases and would not accept Average Weekly Earnings.