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Merry-Go-Round Of Strike Action Needs To Stop

Media Statement 27 November 2019

THE MERRY-GO-ROUND OF STRIKE ACTION NEEDS TO STOP

• Bus rides will NOT be free on Go Bus services in south and east Auckland

• Latest strike action by First Union will compromise driver safety

Go Bus has confirmed that bus rides will NOT be free on its services in south and east Auckland and is deeply concerned the latest strike action by First Union will compromise driver safety.

The Company has tried to explain this to the union on countless occasions, but all to no avail, said Kura Poulava, HR Director, Go Bus.

“By encouraging the small number of union members it has in Auckland to stop collecting fares, First Union is placing the safety of the majority of bus drivers who are working normally at potential risk.

“We know from experience these drivers are at risk of intimidation and even assault from members of the public who believe their rides will be free. Promoting such a situation as this is completely irresponsible and needs to stop before someone is hurt,” continues Ms Poulava.

“Go Bus has been ready, willing and able to reach a settlement with its drivers who are represented by First Union for some time now. It is extremely frustrating that the union seems to have abandoned the idea of reaching a deal for its members, and instead has embarked on a pointless and unproductive cycle of strike action. The facts speak for themselves: Go Bus has an offer on the table, we have a date for mediation set, yet the union continues to call strikes. This action is the second this week.” Go Bus has made an offer for settlement of the Auckland Go Bus and First Union Collective Agreement.

The offer includes a 2% pay increase for a one-year term, an offer that confirms Go Bus’s position as one of the better paying bus companies in Auckland.

Poulava says the Company is very disappointed in the actions of a small number of drivers and union officials who have tried to portray the Company as an unwilling party to the negotiations.

“We note that in the past few months, this union has settled a collective agreement with another operator for less than we are already paying, while at the same time encouraging our employees to go on strike. That doesn’t make much sense to us, particularly as we are one of the better paying bus operators in Auckland, and not even this union cannot dispute that.

“It is clear to us that First Union has sold our drivers whom they represent a pup!”

The Company has confirmed with the union that if the pay deal is accepted, it will be able to process the new increases payments in time for Christmas.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

• Go Bus received notice of strike action from First Union on 26 November 2019

• The proposed strike action will run from 04.00am 27 November to 04.00am 24 December and affects South and East Auckland services operated by Go Bus

• The nature of the proposed strike is the total refusal to collect cash or payment from passengers Go Bus has stated that bus rides will NOT be free over the strike action period

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