Bus drivers in Perth have been forced to take strike action after the company refused to negotiate fairly, instead insisting on low rates, insecure casual jobs and 20-hour contracts.
The action in WA follows similar strikes by drivers in Victoria and also difficulties faced by drivers in NSW at the hands of the global operator with revenues this year of over $10 billion.
“Transdev is squeezing the life out of hard-working bus drivers. They are struggling to pay their bills and support their families. These drivers are transporting school children and other members of the public around and they deserve have their work recognized and to be paid and treated fairly. The WA Government is using millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money to engage Transdev to carry out this public service. It must hold this company to account and ensure an end to the exploitation. The Federal Government must also start looking at this company given the widespread hardship and disruption it is causing to bus networks throughout Australia,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
“There are serious risks to safety when transport is put under financial pressure and bus operations are no different. For an efficient, safe public transport service drivers must be paid fairly and have decent quality jobs,” Kaine added.
Transdev forces drivers to work split shifts with many Perth drivers unable to return home in between shifts. This means drivers are waiting around for several hours for shifts to begin, increasing fatigue.
Bus drivers also face physical and verbal assaults on a daily basis including having rocks thrown at their buses.
So far 500 bus drivers have taken strike action. Fare free days are also planned as part of ongoing industrial action.