Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Ritchies drivers in Auckland join bus strikes


Ritchies drivers in Auckland join bus strikes as warnings fall on deaf ears

Around 70 Ritchies Murphy drivers are to strike tomorrow morning as disputes over work and pay conditions roll to a stop.

This follows strike action from members at multiple Go Bus and Pavlovich depots.

Ritchies Murphy Transport is an affiliate company of Ritchies Transport who has previously requested to bring in 200 migrant workers due to claims there’s a worker shortage which is incorrect. Drivers at Richie’s companies have unacceptable work conditions so do not attract drivers.

Further to this, we can now reveal Ritchies Transport as having the worst rate of bus crashes in Auckland for the number of buses on the road.

Data obtained by FIRST Union through an Official Information Act request shows Go Bus and Ritchies have substantially more accidents than other bus companies, prompting calls from FIRST Union for the Government to remind Auckland Transport and NZTA of its responsibilities in ensuring bus companies have driver and passenger safety at the forefront of the tender selection process.

Data obtained by FIRST Union through an Official Information Act request shows that between 2015 and 2017 Go Bus and Ritchies had substantially more crashes than other bus companies. Go Bus, with its 95 buses for example only made up 6.97% of buses in Auckland, but accounted for 15.09% of accidents. This is in contrast to Howick and Eastern which has more buses on the road, a total of 151 or 11.08% of vehicles but has fewer crashes, making up 2.11% of total accidents. For a second and more alarming example, Ritchies Transport makes up for 260 buses, or 19.08%, but accounts for a whopping 48.07% of accidents.

FIRST Union Organiser Graham McKean says the higher crash rates are coupled with a raft of complaints from driver members, and follow a series of rolling strikes, with more to come.

“The figures are no surprise, we know these companies all operate in largely the same regions, and the only altered variable is the company itself. When we match these figures with complaints from members we have considerable reason to believe the substantially higher crash rates of Ritchies and Go Bus are due to poor worker conditions.”

The complaints from our members include;

· Being pushed to work over the maximum drive time of 5 ½ hours. We have already published evidence from a separate OIA showing Go Bus regularly breaking this rule.

· Rostering. Many drivers are working broken or split shifts. Splits shifts can be up to 14 hours but drivers are only paid for eight hours due to the way bus runs are structured. Breaks are also an issue with some drivers being expected to work 5 ½ hours without a break, and these drivers do not receive a paid tea breaks – this is the only industry in New Zealand that allows for such unsafe practices that can lead to dreadful outcomes. Further, this amount of time away from home negatively affects families and the communities they’re situated within.

· Companies are continuing to clamp down on pay rates, overtime, and redundancy.

Mr McKean says Ritchies Murphy Transport is paying its drivers two-dollars less than most other Auckland companies. He says it’s clear driver welfare comes secondary to company profits.

“I think it’s safe to say worker welfare has been thrown in the back seat and we now have concerns for commuter safety.”

He says if the company wants workers it needs to provide acceptable work conditions and pay to attract them.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The M Bovis Outbreak

As the public keeps on being told, there is no risk at all to human health from cows infected with Mycoplasma bovis. In that respect, it is not at all like mad cow disease.

Even so, the M bovis outbreak is still doing the head in of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, who will be announcing on Monday whether the government intends going down the ‘eradication’ or the ‘management’ path with respect to the outbreak. More>>

 

RNZ: Fishing Industry Lies Revealed In Leaked Report

Some of the country's biggest fishing companies have been under-reporting their hoki catch by hundreds of tonnes, according to a leaked fisheries report. The report has been kept secret from the public for seven years and environmentalists say it casts doubt on industry claims that lucrative hoki is being fished sustainably. More>>

ALSO:

Uni Cuts: VCs At Risk Of Opting Out Of Government’s Vision

Vice-Chancellors need to accept that cutting jobs to meet narrow performance metrics will do nothing to help rebuild an inclusive tertiary education sector that meets the needs of all New Zealanders, the Tertiary Education Union said today. More>>

ALSO:

DBHs v Nurses: Independent Panel Reports On Collective Agreement

The Independent Panel, which was set up to help reach a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) between the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation and the 20 District Health Boards, has made a series of recommendations to address issues impacting settlement. More>>

ALSO:

Cannabis: Legalisation Referendum Could Happen Sooner

The Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand says any decision to hold a referendum on legalising cannabis use in 2019, rather than in an election year, would be a welcome one because the issue is too important to be treated like a political football. More>>

ALSO:

Decile Changes Kicked For Touch: Focusing School Funding On Equity For Kids

The Government is expanding work done on replacing school deciles to look more broadly at what’s needed to ensure all children, including learners from socio economically disadvantaged backgrounds, get the support they need to learn. More>>

ALSO:

Kevin Short New CDF: Defence Deployments Online

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed the release today of further information on where NZDF personnel are deployed overseas... “Defence will also be proactively releasing their advice to Cabinet following future decisions on deployments and mandate.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages