September 26, 2008
Support for Locked-Out Bus Drivers
The Auckland Bus Drivers Council has called an urgent meeting to look at ways of supporting bus drivers locked out by Infratil (NZ Bus).
The Council consists of union delegates from all the major bus operators and says bus drivers are shocked and dismayed at the actions of Infratil.
"We are not prepared to stand by and let Infratil treat fellow workers like this," says Karl Andersen of the NDU.
"More people than ever are using the buses and the company is doing very well out of this. They made a net profit of $52.7 million in the 2007 - 2008 year.
"Drivers have to be at work for 13 hours to get eight hours pay - the struggle for decent pay and conditions for bus drivers is New Zealand wide and Infratil need to understand this is not just a Wellington issue and will not be resolved by a lockout of Wellington drivers."
Mr Andersen says the company recently successfully lobbied Parliament to exempt drivers from legislation guaranteeing tea breaks and safety legislation that would have reduced the allowable continuous driving time from five to five and a half hours.
"Bus drivers can end up driving without a break for up to five and a half hours at a time and still the company doesn't think they are worth a decent days pay," he says.