South West and Inner West Sydney bus drivers are holding strikes from Thursday December 2 to Monday December 6 to protest in favour of more equal working conditions.
Good for them I say: but if you’re planning on commuting, maybe go for the train.
The Transport Workers Union for New South Wales is organising the strike, which is estimated to involve up to 1200 bus drivers.
If you tried to get the bus between 4 and 6am on Thursday morning, you’ll have found no luck (and no bus). FYI, the next strike action is planned for 5 and 7pm on Friday evening.
Following this, drivers are planning a 24-hour strike for Monday, December 6.
Drivers are objecting to the partial privatisation of NSW’s bus industry, which has led to unequal pay and varying conditions for drivers in different parts of the state.
Basically, some drivers are getting paid less for driving the same routes as other drivers.
This is particularly fucked given the fact that transport workers were expected to continue working throughout the pandemic. Maybe we should just start paying people what they deserve? A wild concept, I know, but I reckon it could work.
Richard Olsen, the Union’s state secretary, told News.com.au that “these bus drivers have turned up day-in, day-out throughout the pandemic to serve the community – the last thing they want to do is go on strike, but the company’s stubborn refusal to negotiate has left them with no other option.
“All that bus drivers are asking for is the simple guarantee that if you drive a public bus in Sydney, you’ll get paid the same as everyone else doing the same job.
“The operator Transit Systems, and the State Government, have chosen to ignore these drivers so they’ve been left with no alternative but to take strike action to have their voices heard,” he continued.
“We are calling on Transit Systems and the State Government to stop playing games, and to come to the table to reach a fair agreement with these drivers, including same-job same-pay.”
So yeah, just a heads up that you’ll have to make plans to use other public transport on the select days, which is an inconvenience for sure, but one that has been born out of workers asking for equal pay, which is a more than worthy cause.