The Transport Workers’ Union will meet with Blood Coast Bus Drivers and passengers at Pacific Fair Bus Interchange tomorrow morning to discuss their latest issues, the new Bond Research study and the up-coming action against Transport Minister Scott Emerson and the LNP Government.
TWU Qld Assistant State Secretary Scott Connolly said the event will ensure passengers are up-to-date with how much this Government does not care about the safety or livelihoods of Bus Drivers.
“2012 was a shocking year for driver assaults, and this State Government refuses to take action,” Mr Connolly said.
“Clearly bus drivers are second class citizens to this Government.”
“Drivers were robbed, punched, spat on, hit with skateboards and bottles, and had rocks and metal bars thrown through windscreens, even Emerson admitted in July last year that bus drivers put their lives at risk when they go to work, but he still refuses to do anything.”
“Why is he waiting for someone to die to act?”
To add insult to injury, the once effective Bus Safety Committee meeting, scheduled for Friday, has become a waste of time.
‘The Assistant Transport Minister affords us one-hour every quarter to meet with the Bus Safety Committee, but we are silenced from discussing driver assaults or other serious issues such as bus fires, it’s ridiculous,” Mr Connolly said.
To ensure messages are heard, the TWU is planning a bus industry march on Transport Minister Emerson and the LNP Government.
“We have sent letters asking for the Minister to sit down with us and have a conversation, but he continues to ignore us and the calls for help from our drivers,” Mr Connolly said.
“So we will take this fight to him.”
“We live in a modern society yet our bus drivers are being treated like second class citizens, they do not have toilet or meal facilities, let alone somewhere to wash their hands, all the while being abused and attacked without anything to protect or defend themselves.”
“We are frustrated by this government’s lack of care for anything but themselves and their pockets, and as drivers, families and Queenslanders, we’ve all had enough.”
The one shining light for some Gold Coast drivers is the launch of the Bond University study to reduce the abuse and assaults on drivers.
“In conjunction with Bond University and Transit Australia Group, we launched the important study on Monday,” Mr Connolly said.
“This is the first study in 30 years to investigate and record the abuse and assaults on Qld bus drivers, and with the inclusion of the modern iPad and custom app, will play a crucial role and prove to this government what we already know, and they have nowhere to hide.”
Mick O’Brien – 0411 875 910