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GO Wellington escalates dispute

Wellington Tramways Union

September 25, 2008

Media Release

GO Wellington escalates dispute

The Wellington Tramways Union says GO Wellington is needlessly inflaming the bus dispute after the company today suspended its bus controllers belonging to the Rail and Maritime Union without pay.

The controllers join more than 300 GO Wellington bus drivers who have been locked out indefinitely since 5.30am this morning.

The move comes on the same day outstanding strike notices from the Wellington Tramways Union were due to expire, but so far there is no sign the lockout will be lifted.

Union spokesperson Graeme Clarke says GO Wellington's strong-arm tactics are inflaming the situation.

"By escalating the lockout to other unions' members GO Wellington are showing they're more interested in playing hardball than trying to get a sensible result from this dispute.

"They knew right from the start that our strike notice was due to expire today but they have deliberately upped the ante and continued to deny responsibility for their actions.

"It's pretty clear that GO Wellington's decision to lock us out and cause financial hardship to our members and their families is a massive overreaction when the difference between our positions is only twenty two cents an hour.

"We want drivers back on the job because every day they spend out here means less money to feed themselves and their families but we can't negotiate with the company while we are locked out.

"Our members regret the fact Wellington commuters are being left high and dry by GO Wellington but they need to know that it is the company that has stopped the buses and that they've done so over a few cents."

Tramways Union members and supporters will be leafleting the Wellington CBD tomorrow morning as well as continuing their picket outside GO Wellington's Kilbirnie depot.


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