Heads up if you’re in the city of pots and pints today, Melbourne bus drivers are conducting a “last resort” strike after failing to reach an agreement with Victorian transport authorities.
After disagreements with two major private bus companies operating in Victoria, at least 1500 bus drivers will take part in the strikes across Melbourne today. Transport Worker’s Union Branch Secretary Mike McNess has warned commuters to make alternative travel plans while asking for the public to be considerate of striking drivers.
“I urge the Victorian public to stand behind essential public service workers in their pursuit of fair conditions for the future,” Mr McNess said in a statement.
The strikes come after unions cite disagreements with two major private transport companies over worker wages and working conditions. Union officials are also claiming that private transport company Dyson is withholding state government wage subsidies from its employees.
“We’ve been negotiating since last year but bus drivers are still waiting for their owed pay rise which is months overdue at Dysons,” McNess told Channel Seven.
The Transport Union says that Dyson will be forced to cut over 450 bus services today as a result of the strikes, including one hundred school routes.
Bus drivers for another private transport company, Ventura, are also striking today. While the company signalled it will increase the wages of employees, disagreements over the working conditions of drivers led to workers joining striking Dyson employees.
Drivers have detailed their experience to reporters at The Age, explaining how shift rostering under the current working conditions routinely leave bus drivers overworked and unable to manage their personal lives.
“There’s no work-life balance, there’s no sleep,” one striking driver told The Age.
Junkee has reached out to the Transport Workers Union for comment.