Veolia strike still on: school runs back later

Veolia’s Queensland bus drivers continue their strike action early tomorrow morning, but full services resume from 9am

Veolia strike still on: school runs back later
Veolia strike still on: school runs back later

By David Goeldner | July 21, 2011

Veolia’s southern Queensland bus drivers will continue their strike action tomorrow morning between 4am and 8am.

Veolia’s Queensland Managing Director Colin Jennings says two senior managers from the company’s Melbourne office met with the Transport Workers Union today to broker a deal to avoid tomorrow’s strike action.

"We are looking to set up another meeting at 9am with the TWU," Jennings says.

"At this stage due to the meeting being held tomorrow the strike action won’t be averted so services will be disrupted from 4am to 8am with a view to getting back to normal schedules by 9am."

Jennings says it appears unlikely further industrial action will take place.

"The union is looking to sit down with Veolia to hammer out an agreement over the next week or so," he says.

"I am hoping by the end of next week we can come to an amicable arrangement in terms of a final wages outcome."

Yesterday negotiations broke down after the TWU rejected an increased offer of a 12.75 percent wage increase.

The strike action is being taken by about half of the Capalaba depot’s 145 drivers, affecting services in the Redlands area east of Brisbane across southern Moreton Bay and into Brisbane’s CBD.

Veolia management ran a Saturday timetable today, and will do the same again tomorrow morning, but has stopped all school services for safety reasons.

"We normally put out 111 shifts per day, but we did 87 today," Jennings says.

"Services that didn’t run today are the school services, and that’s because of a safety issue," he says.

Jennings says Veolia decided earlier this week that school services would be suspended through the strike action on Thursday and Friday morning.

"We didn’t want to leave school kids on the side of the road and not knowing if a bus was coming or not," he says.

"So we felt the safest option for the children themselves and for parents to give them certainty to know where there children are was to not run those school services."

Jennings says Veolia will operate full services tomorrow afternoon, which includes running Friday afternoon school services as normal.

Brisbane CBD services will also be fully operational from 9am tomorrow morning.

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