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Bus drivers welcome select committee hearing

Bus drivers welcome select committee hearing
Tramways Union Wellington media release 26 September 2018

Wellington’s bus drivers are welcoming tomorrow’s select committee hearing into the Wellington bus fiasco and hope MPs can get the Greater Wellington Regional Council to answer questions that have been put to them repeatedly by drivers over the past year.

Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says the drivers and their union have been surprised by the Council’s refusal to take their issues seriously. “GWRC and in particular its Chair Chris Laidlaw have been dismissing our members’ concerns throughout the tendering process and into their failed contracting of Tranzit.

“For more than a year and a half now we have been trying to get the Council to make its contractors negotiate. First it was an attempt to get a smooth transition for our members and the system then, when we were ignored on that, to get Tranzit to negotiate a collective agreement asap.

“Instead the council has publicly told us everything will be fine while at the same time they’ve been belittling drivers and supporting Tranzit behind closed doors.

“Ahead of tomorrow’s select committee we’d like to make one thing clear once more. Wellington’s public transport system cannot be fixed until our members’ employment issues are fixed.

“Our members have front-line knowledge that can help repair Wellington’s broken system, but while they are getting ground down by their employer why should they? If the council wants enough drivers to run the routes, if it wants them to have the goodwill to want to make this work, if it wants industrial action off the table, then it needs to make Tranzit act like a good employer and settle a decent collective agreement.”

Earlier today hundreds of Wellington bus drivers voted to take indefinite strike action in October if the council’s bus operators fail to settle a fair deal.


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