Brisbane City Council bus strikes are heating up after the news that two local drivers have been attacked, in less than a week.
Union members will take part in two rounds of action on Thursday, the first from 10am until 2pm which will include a big rally outside Brisbane City Hall, the second round will start at 6pm and continue through till 10pm. The strikes are expected to affect most services between 29 and 599, while other drivers will reportedly be refusing to accept fares.
Police have charged a cyclist with assault occasioning bodily harm after the latest attack which happened on Tuesday night inside the Toowong bus depot.
It's alleged the bus had overtaken the cyclist on a nearby road, the rider following the driver to the depot where an argument happened before several punches were thrown. The whole thing was caught very clearly on the bus's security cameras.
Pic: QLD Police
Speaking to Channel Nine on Thursday, The Rail Tram & Bus Union's Tom Brown said he is "absolutely shocked" by the latest attack.
"I'm shocked to the core that this happened inside a secure bus depot. Not surely the public and Brisbane City Council can see what our drivers are up against on a daily basis, this could have been any one of them," he said.
"Security measures are front and centre of our negotiations. Are drivers have had enough, enough is enough. Give us some real concrete security so we can sleep at night."
Brown said they really need discussion about barriers, security screens and getting rid of cash payments.
"It's the source of 95 per cent of our arguments, we're also looking at things like security guards on or around are routes. Certainly routes [where incidents] keep coming up time and time again."
"We're also looking at authorised officers that can challenge people, then they'll be at the frontline of this basically 'war', they can take the heat off the drivers because they'll have power to eject and detail people."