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First Union’s Short-Notice Strike Action Frustrating

First Union’s Short-Notice Strike Action Frustrating for the Public

Go Bus committed to providing as much service as possible

Go Bus says that it is less than impressed with First Union calling a short-notice strike for Monday morning, and anticipates passengers for whom it provides quality bus services will be frustrated by this union’s tactics.

The strike will affect Hamilton city bus services from 7:30 am until 9:30 am Monday 14 May. Ministry of Education School bus and Specialised School Transport Assistance (SESTA) services will not be affected.

Go Bus says it will however do everything it can to provide as many services as possible.

Go Bus received the official strike notice early Sunday morning (13th).

Nigel Piper, Chief Operating Officer of Go Bus, says that those most inconvenienced by such short-notice industrial action are bus passengers, because instead of enjoying theirSunday, they will be forced to think about transport alternatives for Monday morning.

“While First Union is focused on its political agenda, which has included numerous recent strike actions across various operators in Auckland, we can assure our passengers in Hamilton that we will do everything we can to cover as many services as possible.

“We can also assure our passengers that Go Bus has a proud track record of increasing wages beyond the level of inflation, the most recent being a 6.7% increase for Hamilton drivers just last December. Go Bus has no problems in attracting and retaining good, conscientious staff in the Waikato region.

“We also have a good record of successful negotiation with the various other Unions that collectively represent a greater proportion of our people than First Union.”

Go Bus says that it is on public record as having advised staff, unions and the Councils with which it has contracts in regional areas that it is not opposed, in any way, to the advocacy for a Living Wage for regional bus drivers.

“Generally, we would be supportive if a council elected to stipulate a specific wage rate or Living Wage, provided it was applied to all operators with contracts and the cost to move to a higher rate was fully recoverable.”

“We are aware that bus driver wages and the concept of a Living Wage is already being widely discussed by territorial authorities. We are not opposed to bus drivers being included in these discussions, although we anticipate the matter will require consideration in a wider forum of stakeholders including Government funders, councils, bus companies and bus passengers.”

“If all were supportive and it was stipulated that bus contractors had to pay the Living Wage as a minimum, a level playing field could be created across all operators, and we would support that move.”

Passengers will be able to find out more information on individual bus route disruptions when more information becomes available later today (Sunday 13th) from the Busit website atwww.busit.co.nz, by phoning 0800 205 305 or visiting busitwaikato on Facebook.


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