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Bus strike working, shows importance of resolving dispute


Unions Wellington has been actively supporting Wellington's bus drivers strike, and has been pleased at the results today.

Unions Wellington Convener Ben Peterson explains:-

"Today's strike is having an impact, with many services disrupted, although that disruption to commuters may not be as extreme as feared. Tranzit has gone to enormous efforts and costs to mitigate the effects of the strike, they've bought in extra drivers from out of town, rostered extra drivers to cover strikers, provided hot breakfasts to non union drivers, and parked dozens of buses around suburban Wellington to keep new drivers away from talking to the union, and arranged a shuttle for staff. They've also had extensive security arrangements, with patrolling guards, and have called police on union members at Depots. Members of management have stood over drivers trying to talk to the Union.

Even if the bus service runs with only minor disruptions today, its at enormous costs to Tranzit. This poses important questions:
-if Tranzit has the time to arrange security, shuttle services and out of town drivers, why didn't they have the time to meet with the Union until this week?
-if Tranzit can afford hot breakfasts, shuttle services and extra shifts for members today, why don't they include these perks in their contracts everyday?
-Tranzit has clearly spent an enormous amount of resources trying to run the service today, why can't they have that dedication to commuters when the tramways union isn't on strike?

Tranzit needs to meet with the Union and come to a fair deal for all parties. Both parties have agreed to mediation, but no date is set--it needs to be done now. Rather than spending time and money on crisis management, can Tranzit please act like adults and resolve the dispute?"

ends

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