A bus driver who drives a bus to and from a destination is entitled to the same wages and conditions as a taxi driver, according to a landmark case brought by the Australian Labor Government.
Key points:The court decision came as the Government was preparing to make changes to the transport system that could see passengers paying more for rides, including higher faresA court decision could see bus drivers, taxi drivers, and Uber drivers pay more for journeysThe case was brought by Dean Transportation and has implications for all transport companies, including Uber and LyftThe case has implications not just for bus drivers but for all the transport companies who operate on the public transport networkThe ruling is significant in that it sets a precedent for all operators of public transport in Australia, including taxi, limousine, and private hire companies.
In its ruling, the Federal Court of Australia said bus drivers and other transport companies that operate on public transport must provide the same conditions as drivers and passengers of private hire vehicles.
This includes ensuring that they get the same wage rates and conditions, including the right to strike and the right for them to be entitled to take a pay cut.
Transport industry group Uber has been lobbying for the court’s ruling, which could have a huge impact on how Uber operates.
The company said the case was “one of the most important” and that “no other country in the world can claim to be a fairer place to live than Australia”.
“We are confident that this decision will help drive the Government to deliver real change that helps every Australian get the best possible deal,” Uber Australia CEO Travis Kalanick said.
“This is not just about Uber drivers, it’s about every Australian who wants to get on a bus, whether it’s to work, school, or school holidays.
It’s about ensuring everyone gets to the bus in their local community and the safest way to get to and go to work.”
Uber’s legal team told the court that the Government has a duty to protect the interests of all its citizens, but that “public transport operators should not be treated differently to other businesses”.
The case, which the Federal Government has yet to formally announce, was brought on behalf of Dean Transportation, a Sydney-based company that has about 60,000 bus trips a week.
The court heard that drivers of Dean’s buses, who make about $11 an hour, earn $18.90 per hour in the city.
Drivers of Dean transport buses can be fired at any time and their drivers can be suspended for three days for being late.
Uber has a similar system in Australia.
Uber drivers are paid about $25 an hour in Sydney, but drivers can also be fired and their wages can be cut by one day for being too late or for being disruptive to passengers.
Uber’s drivers are entitled to a wage rise and the same hours as the public drivers, but only if they are on a minimum wage.
A court ruling could mean that drivers could receive higher wages if they make more than $22 an hour and have the right not to strike.
Uber said it would appeal the court ruling, and that the case should not affect its business.