A planned 24-hour transport workers strike on Monday 11 April over wages and conditions will at least moderately affect bus travel between the Northern Beaches and Sydney Metropolitan Area. The industrial action begins at 12.01am on Monday morning, and extend until the following midnight.
On 8 April, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) warned, “Public transport users are advised to consider alternative travel options, plan ahead and check the apps on Monday 11 April as services will run to a reduced timetable and short notice cancellations are possible.”
Although bus journeys across the Northern Beaches are not facing stoppages, according to the TfNSW map of affected services, people travelling further afield are likely to face delays.
However, the nine special bus routes ferrying people to and from the Sydney Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park will remain unaffected.
The action is being coordinated by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and supported by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW. Striking employees will include public sector transport workers as well as three privately-owned companies, ComfortDelGro (CDC – who own Forest Coach Lines based in Frenchs Forest), Transit Systems and Transdev.
On their webpage, Forest Coach Lines announced, “On 11 April from 12:01 am, bus services in northwest Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley will be impacted for 24 hours by industry-wide protected industrial action by the Transport Workers’ Union of Australia.”
However, Forest services to and from the Northern Beaches remain unaffected.
The Narrabeen B-Line bus services to and from the city are also unaffected.
The strike follows on from a planned transport strike on 21 February 2022, which was averted, although the NSW Government subsequently shut down railway stations after negotiations broke down.
The reason for the latest strike, according to a TWU media statement, is “Central to drivers’ demands are same-job same-pay protections, as the current system sees some drivers receiving substantially lower pay and conditions than others working in the same depot, driving the same routes.”
Inadequate rest breaks and facilities were also cited.
“Bus Drivers cannot find toilets or adequate places to have a proper fatigue break away from their buses. Drivers are expected to “hold on” because toilet facilities are either closed or non-existent. Bus drivers face abuse, violence and have very little support for their own or passenger safety.”
Transport for NSW