Ferry disruptions expected as CityCat drivers strike on Thursday morning
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Ferry disruptions expected as CityCat drivers strike on Thursday morning

Brisbane ferry commuters will have to find alternate ways to work on Thursday morning as ferry drivers take industrial action over a pay dispute with ferry operator Transdev.

The 48-hour protected action will begin at 4am on Thursday as a result of a dispute over industrial agreements.

Ferry services across the city will be disrupted on Thursday morning.

Ferry services across the city will be disrupted on Thursday morning.Credit:Fairfax Media/Robert Shakespeare

Maritime Union of Australia's Queensland branch deputy secretary Jason Miners said sections of the
workforce were paid under the award, and many were on casual contracts.

Mr Miners said ferry drivers did not want to go on strike but were struggling to reach common ground with Transdev after almost a year of bargaining over their workplace agreement.

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"These workers – who are from all walks of life, be it grandmothers, students and professional
mariners – are dedicated to serving the people of Brisbane but also need secure employment so
they can provide financial security for their own families," he said.

“They are responsible for ensuring safe river journeys for around five million people a year from
home and abroad."

Transdev’s managing director Tilly Loughborough apologised to commuters for any inconvenience the industrial action may cause, and encouraged them to make alternative plans for travel on Thursday and Friday where possible.

“We will do everything we can to keep as many services running as possible, but do encourage those customers who are able to, to make alternative travel arrangements for Thursday and Friday,” Ms. Loughborough said

“We urge the unions to focus on working with us to resolve the outstanding issues, and reconsider their decision to stop work, so we can avoid the unnecessary impact on customers and the broader community."

Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk said he had a "frank" meeting on Wednesday morning with ferry workers and the union and thought it unlikely the strike would be resolved before the industrial action began.

Cr Quirk said it was up to the council contractor Transdev to reach a solution.

“We pay a contractor to deliver, we do not pay a contractor to have me step in and solve all the problems,” he said.

“We have a contingency plan in place and that contingency means that CityCats will continue to run at 30-minute intervals.

"We will have the Hoppers continuing to run, though at a lesser frequency and there will be a normal service from Bulimba to Teneriffe.”

CityCats will operate at 30 minute frequencies throughout the day, while the Bulimba-to-Teneriffe Cross River Ferry will not be affected by the action.

The CityHopper will operate at a reduced frequency, but both the Kangaroo Point Cross River Ferry and the Norman Park Cross River Ferry will not operate.

Lucy is the urban affairs reporter for the Brisbane Times, with a special interest in Brisbane City Council.

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