Wellington bus drivers voted for industrial action including a fare strike – driving buses while refusing to take fares – from the 28th of January if their employer NZ Bus continues to force part-time shifts on them.
The company’s attempts to use more part-time shifts with fewer hours would see many drivers face loss of income and increased uncertainty of hours and has become a key issue in the current negotiations.
Wellington Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says members are furious. “Up until recently we’ve had a pretty good relationship with NZ Bus but in recent months there’s been a real push from the company to undermine the people who work there.
“Alongside the hostile reaction from the other company servicing Wellington’s public transport, Tranzit, there’s now real pressure on the bus system and on drivers’ terms and conditions.
“The blame for this and the broader Wellington bus fiasco sits with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, so it is appropriate that a fare strike will hit them in the pocket.
“If NZ Bus take a sensible approach to part time shifts as the members are asking them to this dispute will settle.”