14 March 2018.
International Unionists calls for intervention from Auckland Transport.
An international union leader is calling on Auckland Transport (AT) to review its’ operating model and engage in talks with unions to avoid a pending dispute.
Alana Dave, a spokesperson for The International Transport-workers Federation (ITF) says AT’s competitive tendering model has led to a break-down in wage bargaining across the industry.
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is an international federation of transport workers' trade unions. Around 670 unions representing over 19 million transport workers from some 147 countries are members of the ITF. Alana Dave is the leader of their public transport programme.
“The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) adopted by Auckland Transport has seen driver’s wages reduced and what we now see is almost all bus operators unable to renew agreements with the union” said Dave. “The union has sought diplomatic solutions through contact with Regional Council and the bus association but no-one is listening. If industrial action is needed, it will be the passengers that lose out”.
FIRST Union, the union representing bus drivers in all of the major companies operating in Auckland, said last month that its’ members are ready to take industrial action, as talks had stalled.
Dave said it appears that the situation in Auckland is at breaking point, with almost all major operators out of contract, the disruption from strike actions would be significant.
“I am visiting New Zealand to support the Bus Drivers who have seen their pay and conditions rocket downward since the implementation of PTOM. Auckland Transport cannot pretend to be innocent bystanders when operators have no ability to pay a fair rate is a direct result of their operating model.”
“Some of the drivers I have met are not even paid a living wage, and when you take into account the prolonged book-off periods, they are not even paid the minimum wage” said Dave.