Our workers brought the fight right to Sidoti’s doorstep
Last week, alongside community members, our drivers took the Don’t Sell Our Buses campaign to John Sidoti’s doorstep, demanding to know why the MP supports Minister Constance’s plan to privatise our region 6 buses.
Drivers and depot workers from across Sydney literally arrived in busloads, ready to rally with community members. Ash Sarker, a proud member from the Tempe bus depot, reminded the crowd why our fight is so important.
“I stand here as a driver, community member, member of the Union, a Union Delegate, a taxpayer, and I’m a strong supporter of keeping public transport in public hands.
“Public transport is a service that my tax, your tax, your parents’ and grandparents’ tax is paying for! It’s not Sidoti’s or the Government’s to give away!”
The NSW Liberal Government claims that region 6 needs to be privatised in order to fix late running times, ignoring the fact that privatising buses won’t miraculously relieve Sydney traffic. Instead of selling off public transport so that commuters have to pay a higher price for a poorer service, the NSW Government should be fixing our roads to ease traffic congestion.
“We do 3.5 million trips every month in a city choked with congestion. And they get 12,000 complains about late running,” Ash said in his speech at the rally.
“Upon constant requests, they’ve refused to fix timetables for the past 4 years!”
The Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance has attempted to mask his greedy privatisation plan as a solution to Sydney commuters’ problems, but the 24,000 Sydneysiders who’ve signed the Don’t Sell Out Buses campaign aren’t buying his ploy.
No one wants their buses to be privatised as we all know it will mean higher fares, fewer services, removal of unprofitable routes and cut backs in maintenance. Meanwhile, 1,200 of our hard workers’ jobs will be threatened. The only winners of privatisation are Andrew Constance and whatever private company he strikes a deal with.
While other MPs around Sydney turned down Constance’s ridiculous plan to privatise public buses in their area, it was John Sidoti MP who supported the plans to privatise the Inner West buses within his electorate. Our protest showed Sidoti we are holding him accountable and that it’s time he explains to his community why he’s selling off their buses.