Day one of Go Bus lock out and Waikato bus drivers begin to share their stories on the picket line
The 120 Waikato bus drivers who’ve started picketing the Go Bus lockout today have begun to tell their harrowing employment stories.
Go Bus has been in dispute with its workers for over a year with the latest turn of events culminating in a strike and a retaliatory lockout imposed by the low wage employer, just weeks out from Christmas.
The local community is very supportive of the drivers and donations have been flooding in to a page set up yesterday: http://busfair.nz/donate/
The below commentary has matching PHOTOS that can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/BusFairNZ/
Lorraine McNair has been a driver for 11 years. She's been locked out by Go Bus for seeking a Living Wage. Yesterday when a regular passenger heard about the dispute they offered for Lorraine to come around to their house for a hot meal at any time, "some passengers are just awesome" she says.
These two year old twins are the moko of Bob Corromandel. He's been working as a bus driver for 12 years. He's on $19 per hour and he's locked out for seeking a Living Wage. Bob and his wife are the caregivers of these two and their three-year-brother, "My whole life is about these little ones. I said to this kuia I'm too old to look after little ones but she said no Robert they are too young to look after themselves".
Colin Frost has been working for 60 years. At 72 years he works at Go Bus. He's on $19 per hour ($1.55 less than the Living Wage). He works from 6:30 am to 6.15 pm, five days a week. He doesn't expect to ever retire, "If I don't work I can't pay rent, and if I can't pay rent I will live on the street and the council wouldn't care".
FIRST Union Divisional Secretary Jared Abbott says the lock out is an intimidation tactic that won’t work.
“To pull a lock out on low-wage workers weeks out from Christmas is appalling. Despite this, we are heartened to know that it’s only intensified the community support and the donations for these drivers are rolling in. We are very, very thankful.”