Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Figures from Stagecoach boss don't add up

RAM media release 4.4.05

'Figures from Stagecoach boss don't add up,' says ARC councillor

Robyn Hughes, RAM councillor on the ARC, spent three hours this morning at two Stagecoach workers' picket lines (at Roskill and Wiri bus depots).

The bus workers were on a one-day strike in protest at a stalemate in negotiations which have dragged on since last year.

"Picketers told me that, in the six years since Stagecoach took over the publicly-owned bus company in 1998, drivers have had an effective pay rise of only 4.5 per cent after taking into account the loss of paid meal breaks. This 4.5 per cent is way below the rise in the living costs over the same period, so drivers have suffered a large decline in their real wages under Stagecoach," said Robyn Hughes.

"All drivers roared with laughter when I quoted Stagecoach New Zealand's claim that top drivers were getting over $60,000 a year. They said it was just company propaganda, and described their employer as a tight-fisted, highly-profitable multinational."

"After reading my comments in the NZ Herald supporting the bus drivers, the executive chair of Stagecoach New Zealand, Ross Martin, requested an urgent meeting with me," said Robyn Hughes. "RAM organiser Grant Morgan and I met with Mr Martin and another Stagecoach executive this afternoon at my home."

"Significantly, Mr Martin agreed that combined unions advocate Gary Froggatt was correct in saying that Stagecoach New Zealand had made a profit of $38 million over the last three years. However, Mr Martin claimed that $18 million of this $38 million was paid out in interest charges by another of Stagecoach New Zealand's companies."

"Grant Morgan and I called on Mr Martin to open Stagecoach New Zealand's books to get to the truth of the matter. We said there was a social obligation for a private firm getting tens of millions in public subsidies a year to open its books to public scrutiny," said Robyn Hughes.

"According to Mr Martin, 'Stagecoach New Zealand has never paid a dividend overseas to the Stagecoach Group'. But neither did Mr Martin say who was the recipient of the $18 million paid in 'interest' over the last three years. My question is this: Is this another way of money getting to the bus firm's Scottish multinational, either in direct interest payments to head office, or paying a bank in order to relieve head office of its own interest charges?"

"We won't know until Stagecoach New Zealand opens its books to public scrutiny in return for getting huge handouts of public money."

"Also, Mr Martin's maths didn't add up. He told Mr Morgan and myself that Stagecoach's total expenses in Auckland a year were about $80 million, while its total Auckland revenue a year was about $100 million. Accepting his figures, that means Stagecoach clears $20 million a year from its Auckland operations. But in his next breath, Mr Martin claimed that 'profitability at present is close to zero'. In his briefing to RAM, therefore, Mr Martin gave wildly contradictory figures which don't add up. This calls into question all his figures, which is another reason we need a public inspection of Stagecoach New Zealand's books."

"If, as Mr Martin says, Stagecoach is clearing $20 million a year in Auckland, the company is well able to pay its drivers a living wage. The drivers are asking for $16 an hour now, which is a modest wage for an increasingly stressful job where they hold the lives of their passengers in their hands. Public safety demands that drivers be paid a decent hourly rate so they don't have to make up a living wage by working excessive overtime, which could lead to accidents caused by tiredness."

"I restate my support for the just claim of the Stagecoach workers. RAM calls on the company to pay a decent wage and to open its books. This is an issue of social justice and democratic accountability."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news