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Bris ferry drivers strike over conditions

Brisbane’s ferry timetable has been thrown into chaos after drivers walked off the job for the second time this month.

More than 130 CityCat employees are taking part in the 24-hour strike, which started at 4am on Thursday.

Maritime Union of Australia Queensland branch deputy secretary Jason Miners said the workers were resolute in their decision to fight what they claim are unfair work conditions.

“There’s going to be more action in the new year,” Mr Miners told AAP.

He said ferry drivers were sick of having their “rosters torn apart” following Enterprise Bargaining Agreement negotiations with employer Transdev.

Mr Miners said in one instance workers agreed to a pay increase only for their start times to then be changed from 6.30am to 6.31am so they didn’t receive the early morning allowance.

Transdev and the Maritime Union of Australia will conduct negotiations before the Fair Work Commission on Thursday afternoon, with more discussions expected in the new year.

In a statement on Tuesday, Transdev managing director Tilly Loughborough said she was surprised by the industrial action given the scheduling of the hearing.

The company asserts it has provided the MUA and Australian Maritime Officers Union with three offers during the past 12 months, but are yet to receive any counter-proposals.

Transdev also states its current wage offer is fair and reasonable.

Meanwhile CityCat services are running at a reduced frequency throughout Thursday, with Mr Miners saying there were only about three or four ferries running every hour.

“Essential services are running every 60 minutes if they’re lucky,” he said.

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