RTBU members unite to stay off unsafe roads in wild weather
As Newcastle and the Hunter area battled cyclonic conditions last week, strong union leadership kept our members off unsafe roads.
The storm brought some of the wildest weather in years to the city of Newcastle and surrounds. There were winds of up to 130km an hour, trees were down, as were power lines, houses were destroyed, people went missing, and there was flooding and general devastation in the community. The storm was described as a category 2 cyclone and later declared a natural disaster area.
As those drivers who were able to made their way to work that Tuesday morning they weren’t sure about the extent of the danger they would face on the roads.
As the winds grew stronger, so too did the fear amongst the workers, who gathered together at work, ready for duty, but concerned for their safety. In response union meetings were called at both Hamilton and Belmont depots to decipher which course of action would be taken.
No one wanted to risk their lives and that of the travelling public out in the wild and dangerous conditions and with strong leadership from the union embers wholeheartedly voted for the safest option: for the buses to remain off the roads until the conditions were proven to be safe.
As the day progressed members agreed that certain services could operate safely, which is then what happened.
The RTBU Newcastle membership were particularly united on that day and the strength and support they showed each other was quite remarkable. It was because of this unity that they managed to get through the day and night without too many concerns.