||Issue No. 317||28 July 2006|
Independent of Facts
Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
Unions: Staying Mum
Economics: Precious Metals
Industrial: The Cold 100
History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
Legal: Free Agents
Politics: Under The Influence
International: How Swede It Was
Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
Ridout: WorkChoices “Revolutionary”
Telstra Boss Gets Crossed Line
Prof: Fair Pay Should Be Lower
The Locker Room
Help is at Hand
Labor Council of NSW
Bussies Go Gangbusters
Drivers have banned the use of buses with external emergency release buttons, saying they allow thugs to swarm onto buses, threatening drivers and passengers.
Almost 50 buses are affected, mainly at Waverly, Port Botany and Randwick depots.
The issue arose a year ago, with State Transit saying it would fit glass covers to the buttons, but drivers reacted when they discovered that the authority hadn't even ordered the glass as of last week.
With patience wearing thin at State Transit inaction, drivers moved last week to take buses that use off the road.
Services ran up to twenty minutes late and drivers reported no hostile reaction from the travelling public.
The drivers and State Transit ended up before the NSW Industrial relations commission over the dispute, with the IRC handing down a series of recommendations, which will go before drivers this week.
"The industrial relations commissioner is right," says Raoul Boanza from the Rail Tram and Bus Industry Union. "This is a very serious safety issue that affects members of the public as well as our drivers."
An incident at Bondi last year saw a driver and passengers fleeing in fear after gang members entered a bus through the rear door, using an emergency door opening button, and proceeded to trash the interior.
"The driver had to run for his life," says Wendy Wirth, a driver from Sydney's Waverly Depot. "He eventually escaped in a taxi.
"The video of the event is absolutely shocking.
"Last month another driver was physically assaulted and passengers harassed."
The bashed driver was left with facial injuries, with similar incidents being experienced by drivers and passengers over the last year.
Boanza called on State Transit to fix the problem immediately.
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