Drivers operating Busways services in Penrith, Blacktown, Windsor, Gosford and Wyong plan on turning off their Opal card machines today (which means free rides for select services). They will also abandon services from 12pm until 1pm.

As most passengers in western Sydney will know, this isn’t the first time drivers have taken strike action in protest against the state government and Transit Systems Sydney’s refusal to increase wages.

“[The union is] very grateful for the support our drivers have received from the community since we went public with this dispute with the fare-free day on Monday,” Richard Olsen, state secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union of NSW (TWU), said in an official statement. “Busways’ continued refusal to offer a fair deal is leaving us with fewer options.”

A meeting of union members will be held today to discuss whether further action will need to be taken next week. This could include stop-work meetings and bans on working overtime and on drivers assisting with refuelling.

“TWU members have been trying to negotiate a fair deal since 2017, but Busways management has repeatedly rejected the majority of our log of claims,” said Olsen. “Until Busways is prepared to discuss a fair and respectful deal, members have no other option than to proceed with lawful industrial action.

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