Bus drivers to rally against Translink

Release date: 26/07/2011

Queensland's bus drivers' union is calling on commuters to join a rally against Translink.

Miranda Forster, Ninemsn News

The Transport Workers' Union (TWU) secretary Peter Biagini says Queensland commuters will face more bus strikes unless the state's public transport body moves to lift wages.

The union blames Translink for the recent Veolia Transport bus drivers' strike and more looming strikes, including one on the Sunshine Coast this Friday.

"Translink are saying, `we don't want to get involved'," Mr Biagini told AAP on Tuesday.

"We're saying there's a problem in the industry and they need to take some responsibility."

Drivers will rally outside Translink's Brisbane headquarters at noon (AEST) on September 1, and then monthly, until the state transport body joins pay negotiations, Mr Biagini said.

The union is calling on passengers to join the rallies.

"We want commuters to come and help us and be angry with Translink and to get them to fix this broken industry," he said.

On Friday Sunbus bus drivers on the Sunshine Coast will strike from 4am to 8am (AEST) over pay.

But Sunbus management will not let workers back to work until 4am on Saturday morning in retaliation, extending the strike to 24 hours, Mr Biagini said.

He said Surfside bus drivers on the Gold Coast are also considering striking and said it was "very possible" Veolia bus drivers could strike again.

"Our people have been underpaid for some time now and enough's enough," he said.

Veolia has upped its pay rise offer from 3.75 per cent to four per cent but drivers still want 4.5 per cent.

Mr Biagini said any Veolia strike is still a fortnight away because drivers still have to vote on the company's latest offer.

A Translink spokesman said the body was disappointed with the TWU's planned rallies, but did not comment on the wage disputes.

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