Bus services suspended
Bus services suspended from Thursday October 8
Bus services provided by Metrolink, North Star, Go West, Waka Pacific, LINK and City Circuit will be suspended from 4am Thursday October 8th in response to the notice of strike action provided by the Auckland Combined Unions on Sunday evening October 4th.
“The Unions desire to initiate industrial action when the option of resolving the issue responsibly in facilitation exists is unacceptable,” says Zane Fulljames GM Operations.” It is difficult to understand why they do not want to resolve this issue responsibly, both for their members and Auckland commuters.”
Negotiations have been ongoing for five months. In order to avert industrial action NZ Bus filed an application for facilitation with the Employment Relations Authority on Friday 18th September to assist both parties to reach an agreement. On Monday 5 October NZ Bus asked the Authority to hear the case with urgency.
In response to the Unions claims that this was a work to rule Fulljames said “Let me be quite clear- if this was not meant to be disruptive, the unions wouldn’t have issued a notice of strike action”
“The ongoing threat of industrial action is taking its toll on our customers .This is having an impact on the number of people travelling by bus,” says Mr Fulljames.
“Customer confidence in the services we provide is being impacted. Confidence and reliability are critical factors in winning people over to public transport and retaining them as customers”
“We are aware that two other bus companies have recently settled their claims at bargaining for wage increases at a similar percentage movement to what we have offered our people,” says Fulljames. “Our improved offer sits at 4.2% 3.0% and 3.3% over three years. The only conclusion you could come to is that it is difficult getting consensus across the various factions within the Combined Union coalition “
“With the Unions planned industrial action, we will be unable to operate our business with certainty for our customers. This is unacceptable to us and as a result will suspend all bus services from Thursday October 8,” Fulljames continues.
“This is not a course of action we take lightly” Fulljames concludes. “We have a responsibility to provide our customers with clarity and our customers have had to cope with this ongoing uncertainty now for many weeks.
“We have asked that the unions lift their notice of strike action and join us in seeking the assistance of the Employment Relations Authority in reaching an agreement or accept the offer that is on the table.”