CDC VICTORIA BUS PROTESTS CONTINUE

By: Fabian Cotter


NO AGREEMENT HAS BEEN MET and protests and negotiations continue as CDC Victoria receives formal notification from the Transport Workers Union (TWU, Vic/Tas Branch) that industrial action will occur again on Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, between 9.00am and 1.00pm, the company confirms.

CDC VICTORIA BUS PROTESTS CONTINUE
Commuters will be hoping it's third time lucky in negotiations between the TWU and CDC after a third round of industrial action is set to continue.

Major disruptions will be expected on all CDC Victoria bus services, with the industrial action impacting bus services in Ballarat, Geelong and up to 49 metropolitan bus routes across the western and eastern suburbs of Melbourne. School bus services will not be impacted, the company states.

This impending third round of protests follows last Friday 13th's stop-work initiative between 2pm and 6pm that day.

According to the TWU, it was a great turnout at Oakleigh, Geelong, Ballarat and Wyndham depots in a public display of, "unity and comradeship among the membership".

"The vast majority of those who stepped out of buses, stepped right on to a picket line!" the organisation stated.

The union says Friday's rallies proceeded because Fair Work Commission (FWC) mediation held that morning failed to progress discussions.

"The point should be reinforced that CDC itself applied to the FWC for mediation. However, CDC not only failed to improve its current offer, but used the mediation session to re-table a previously-rejected offer," the union stated.

"That offer had been put to the TWU by CDC CEO Nicholas Yap in a meeting on Monday 9 July and was rejected by the TWU during that same meeting on Monday 9 July.

"It should be pointed out that CDC Victoria issued a press release yesterday quoting Mr Yap as saying: 'We continue to appeal to the TWU to progress discussions instead of impacting commuters.'

"TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) secretary John Berger apologised to commuters for any inconvenience the Victorian bus driver industrial actions may personally cause.

Berger said: "However, many bus drivers, like many bus passengers, pay mortgages or rent, taxes, rates and school fees and have continually increasing grocery and utility bills. They want wage certainty and the current annual wage growth system has been too unreliable."

 Related article: Read: Initial TWU/CDC negotiations stall
Related article: Initial TWU/CDC negotiations stall.

WAGE STRUCTURE FLAWED

The union says Victorian bus driver pay rises are currently determined – and have been for the past 15 years – by the unreliable Annual Wage Growth system and that the current CDC wage offer is actually less than all previous 12 average annual wage increases.

"I ask the question of bus passengers – would you happily and quietly accept a deal from your employer that is less than previous years while in the meantime all of your other expenses have remained unchanged or increased?" Berger said.

"If the answer is ‘no’, and that you would try to fight for what is fair, then you would understand why hard-working Victorian bus drivers have made this stand against a rich, powerful, multinational who in 2017 had an annual global revenue of $400 billion and an Australian revenue of $420 million.

"Victorian bus drivers have not taken strike action for 20 years, but there comes a time when you have to look after yourself and these drivers have drawn a line in the sand.

"The fact they have gathered in great numbers out in the cold to picket tells you how serious this issue is, how insulted they were by the company’s sub-standard wage offer and how determined they are to dig in.

"We have also signed-up many new members from CDC in recent days who want to join their colleagues in the fight for a decent wage."

CEO of CDC Victoria, Nicholas Yap, said: "While we are disappointed that the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have chosen to further disrupt the community that CDC serves, we are glad that the intended stoppage [Tuesday, 17 July] will not affect school children."

"We understand that our drivers had a significant say in this and thank them for prioritising the needs of the community."

It is believed that no services will run between 9am and 1pm on Tuesday, 17 July 2018.

CDC Victoria says it strongly encourages passengers to make alternative travel arrangements and asks passengers to plan their journey before travelling as their normal bus may not be operating.

CDC Victoria encourages passengers to keep checking our website www.cdcvictoria.com.au for more detail, or follow the Twitter account @cdcvictoria.

The bus company says it will endeavour to update information, if some services are able to run.

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