The peak industry body representing hundreds of bus operators in Queensland has condemned the Bligh Government's bungling of the ongoing pay disputes between bus operators and the TWU in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
Queensland Bus Industry Council Executive Director David Tape said the public needed to know that the root cause of the pay dispute is that the TWU is demanding more than the Bligh Government pays its operators.
"Whether you operate route bus services on the Sunshine Coast or school services in Theodore the Bligh Government is paying you the lowest rates on the eastern seaboard of Australia" he said.
Mr Tape said that the Government's latest decision to unilaterally suspend ancillary payments to operators caught up in industrial disputes was a staggering breach of its contractual obligations and has sent shock waves throughout the entire industry.
"This latest knee jerk reaction is not only a fundamental breach of contract law but has set aside decades of accepted industry practice", he said.
"We will not stand by as an industry and allow the Bligh Government and the TWU to threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of Queensland bus operators and the essential services they provide to the communities they serve. We will use every avenue available to protect our businesses and the tens of thousands of commuters who depend on us every day"
Mr Tape said that if the Bligh Government was serious about bringing an end to the industrial action they would have applied to Fair Work Australia or to the Federal Minister for Workplace Relations to intervene and have the matter arbitrated where an independent and binding decision can be made.
"That's how you get buses back on the road, not by shutting the operators down" he said. Available to discuss this release Monday 15th of August 2011.
Media contact: David Tape (Executive Director) Queensland Bus Industry Council Inc (07) 3397 1700 or 0407 002 970