01 Mar 2019

Brisbane ferry drivers strike again for pay rise

Brisbane ferries drivers will return to work on Thursday after walking off the job for the third time in three months over roster uncertainty and wages.

Ferry drivers began their 72-hour strike early on Wednesday to express their anger over what they said was a lack of job security and low pay.

Transdev, which operates ferries on behalf of Brisbane City Council, apologised for disruptions and warned commuters to avoid the river on Wednesday and Thursday.

However, the strike ended earlier than expected, with Maritime Union of Australia members reaching an agreement just before noon.

Maritime Union of Australia Queensland deputy branch secretary Jason Miners said the success of the strike was because workers rallied together and challenged the "injustice placed upon them".

“This is a great outcome which delivers roster certainty and, most importantly, a pay rise for these men and women who deliver a great service to the people of Brisbane," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Miners was calling on Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk to intervene in negotiations.

"Workers' take-home pay has gone back over the past few years, rosters have changed, they are being treated appallingly by management, pushed to work unsafe boats and are not valued for the great work they do," he said.

"They have just had enough. They have been pushed into a corner and want to go hard.

"We just want the parties to agree to a fair agreement that sees their cost of living made a bit easier, we want to deliver a pay rise to these workers."

Before the strike ended, Transdev Queensland managing director Tilly Loughborough warned that the longer union members stopped work, “the harder it is for our team to cover services and keep people moving on the Brisbane River”.

Ferry drivers staged a two-day strike and a one-day strike in December.

A planned strike earlier this month was abandoned.

A rally was held next to the Hawthorne ferry terminal from 7am on Wednesday.

SOURCE ; https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/brisbane-ferry-drivers-strike-again-for-pay-rise-20190227-p510gz.html

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