Townsville Sunbus Industrial Action

Friday 31 and Saturday 1 January 2011

Australian Workers Union and Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has advised Transit

Australia Group (TAG) parent company to Sunbus, of the intention to AGAIN take

protected industrial action for 48 hours.

Townsville Sunbus Passengers are advised to make alternative transport arrangements

from midday Friday 31 until midday Sunday 2 January 2011, at which time normal

services will resume.

Any Sunbus trip in progress at the commencement of strike action (12 Noon) will be

completed by the driver, in accordance with the existing timetable. Services scheduled

to depart the Garbutt depot from noon Friday 31 up until noon Saturday 1 January will

not operate.

Magnetic Island and Bushland Beach Route 33 passengers are not affected by this


“ It is fortunate normal services will operate on Magnetic Island however it is vital that

Island residents understand they will not be able to connect to any Townsville Sunbus

services, including transfers from the Sunferries Breakwater Terminal,” Megan Harkin,

General Manager, Strategic Planning and Delivery, Transit Australia Group said.

“ Unfortunately we have not been able to staff a complete roster for Townsville Sunbus

and therefore there is a complete outage of these services.

“ The Transport Workers Union industrial relations strategy defies logic and is based on

a clear intent to disrupt, rather than to achieve a timely outcome for members.

“ The public are the real victims of this ongoing saga. They have been sold confusing

and contradictory messages by the TWU.

“ We have a formal and detailed offer on the table. The TWU must respond in writing to

the offer. When, and only when, we know the detail of what the drivers are not happy

with, will we be able to take the negotiations to the next level.

“ We cannot negotiate the conditions of the new Federal Award. The Award is law, the

negotiating period has long elapsed, and the TWU played a crucial role in negotiating at

a Federal level.

“ We can however be flexible in the Enterprise Agreement we reach with our

drivers. This is the dialogue we are yet to have, the lack of which has cost the

drivers dearly in lost wages.

“The contempt being shown by the TWU and its supporters towards the travelling

public is simply disgraceful.

“ To strike on New Years Eve, leaving thousands of revelers without a bus service is

a clear indication of the callous disregard these people have for the public.

“ Rather than making an application to Fair Work Australia (FWA) to extend their

strike action they could have just as easily applied to the FWA, requesting they

intervene to resolve the impasse.

“ The Unions chose not to do that, which goes to show what their real objectives

are in this campaign.

“ Our drivers have lost $150,000 in wages, which they will never recoup, and over

50,000 passengers have been inconvenienced so far in the campaign.

“ These statistics are growing daily and by the end of January will have blown out of

all proportion.

“ We can’t be more clear that TAG will not be forced to sign up to the unsustainable

log of claims the union currently has on the table.

“ Meetings between the TWU and TAG have now been scheduled for early January

to progress negotiations. The Union and drivers have been in possession of TAG’s

offer for some time and has failed to respond formally in writing to date. Without

an understanding of what is wrong with the offer, we cannot develop a counter


“ I feel confident from discussions I had with TWU Secretary, Peter Biagini, today

that sense will prevail and the focus will turn to face to face negotiations and away

from further unnecessary strike action.

“ I do not understand what the Union hopes to achieve by striking in the meantime,

Ms Harkin said.

Passengers are urged to continue to monitor our website for up to date

information. Visit www.sunbus.com.au.

Contact : Cherie Beaumont-Tyson, TAG Communication Manager 0487 068 666

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