Transit Systems will have to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages docked from drivers who turned off Opal machines during recent industrial action, following a decision in the Fair Work Commission yesterday.
Bus drivers across the Inner West and South West of Sydney recently turned off Opal card machines for four days in a legally protected industrial action, which Transit Systems responded to by outrageously docking their wages by between 25 and 31 per cent.
Deputy President Easton found that Transit Systems’ revenue was “unchanged” as a result of the drivers’ action, and ordered that the drivers’ pay instead be docked by just 1.5 per cent.
TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen said the company had been caught red-handed trying to rip off hard-working bus drivers and the NSW taxpayers.
“Let’s call this out for what it really is – a calculated attempt by a company to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from its workers” Mr Olsen said.
“When drivers turned off the Opal card machines, Transit Systems didn’t lose one red cent – but that didn’t stop them outrageously docking the pay of hundreds of bus drivers” Mr Olsen said.
“Transit Systems tried to pocket $250,000 of taxpayers’ money that was supposed to be paid to bus drivers, and which they had no right to take. The TWU challenged it in the Commission, and we are very pleased with the decision that has been handed down.”
Mr Olsen said the company’s appalling attempt to rip off its own workforce and the taxpayers clearly demonstrated the need for the State Government to intervene.
“This company is refusing to negotiate with its drivers, and now has been caught engaging in blatant wage theft – all while the State Government sits idly by” Mr Olsen said.
“How much further out of hand does this situation need to get before the State Government steps in?”
The Fair Work decision comes just days after drivers in Regions 3 and 6 of the bus network took 24 hour strikes over the company’s refusal to adopt same-job same-pay provisions.