Free Bus Rides Across Sydney’s West As Industrial Action Escalates
Opal machines turned off
Opal card machines on buses across Sydney's inner west and southwest have been turned off today amid ongoing pay disputes.
Unions claim drivers in different regions of the city are being paid different rates, including Parramatta, Liverpool, Merrylands, Prairiewood and Fairfield.
Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Sydney Briefing - keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.
TWU NSW state secretary Richard Olsen said drivers wanted assurances that "whether you’re driving a bus in Liverpool or in Leichhardt, you will be paid the same regardless.”
“Bus drivers are turning off the ticket machines to send a message loud and clear to Transit Systems — it's time for the company to get serious and come to the negotiating table”.
- Richard Olsen
The action on Monday will impact regions three and six as drivers switch off their Opal card readers for 24 hours.
Endorsed by more than 93 per cent of union members, across both the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) as well as the Transport Workers Union, the industrial strike action could cost the government up to 400,000 in lost fares.
RTBU NSW bus division secretary David Babineau said further industrial action is likely as the government moves to privatise transport services.
“This is what happens when public transport is privatised and run for profit. The public are robbed of their reliable services and workers are robbed of their pay and conditions,” Mr Babineau said.
The latest in a series of industrial action by the city’s transport workers to renegotiate pay conditions, rail workers stopped operating in only last month amid a pay and safety dispute.
For Australians looking for intelligent and unbiased news coverage, join renowned journalist Natarsha Belling on Your Morning Agenda for breaking national and international stories as well as the top business and finance stories - every weekday from 6:30am on Listnr