The Fair Pay Agreements proposed by Labour can’t come quick enough for bus drivers facing an average pay cut of $200 a week under the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s re-tendering of bus services.
Wellington Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says that the proposed cuts are exactly the kind of race-to-the-bottom tendering process that fair pay agreements would stop.
“Our Thank You Driver campaign which is fighting these cuts is just the latest chapter in the industry’s long history of using competitive tendering to drive down costs at the expense of workers’ conditions and the quality of our public transport system.
“Like many other industries, bus services have little space for competition, because every company has to provide the same vehicles and depots and pay the same price for fuel. The only way to cut costs is through wages and service. That’s why bus drivers, and New Zealanders in many other industries have seen their incomes fall so far behind the cost of living. These FPAs would help halt that downward spiral.
“We’re a strong union with loyal members and we’re confident we’ll be able to defend our members’ terms and conditions, but our employment laws shouldn’t put working people in a position where they have to fight this hard just to stop slipping backwards.
“FPAs are a bloody good step toward Kiwis getting a decent go at work and starting to undo some of the damage that low-wage competition has done to our people, our economy, and our public transport services.”