Wellington supports the bus drivers
With Wellington bus drivers preparing to strike on October 23, union members around the city have pledged support.
Hundreds of people are expected to rally in Cuba Mall at noon on Labour Day, protesting the destruction of our once proud public transport system by the Regional Council and Tranzit, and in solidarity with the pending bus strike.
Tramways Union picket lines throughout the region will be reinforced with volunteers, determined to pressure employers Tranzit and Uzabus into offering the drivers a fair deal.
“The people of this city know what it’s like to stand up for themselves, and they know that’s what bus drivers are doing,” says Ben Peterson, convenor of Unions Wellington.
“Nurses, teachers and public servants have all recently been on strike, and now these same people are ready to help drivers win their fight.”
Food, megaphones, flags and placards are stockpiled, and financial support is ready and waiting as the Tramways Union prepares for indefinite strike action.
The Unions Wellington inbox is overflowing with praise for the drivers and their stand.
“Kia kaha nga taraiwa! You deserve a fair deal,” says Lyall Bay resident Mark Derby; a sentiment repeated over and over again.
“I back this strike a hundred percent,” says Newtown’s Jack Mells.
“Bus drivers are so important, and they deserve so much more than they're getting. I support their decision to strike indefinitely until we get some results.”
Students have handed out thousands of leaflets around campus in support of the strike, and posters advertising the Labour Day rally spring up at bus stops faster than company goons can rip them down.
With no indication yet that Tranzit and Uzabus will see the light, industrial conflict seems impossible to avoid.
“We all know that the drivers don’t want to be in this position,” says Mr Peterson.
“Their backs are against the wall. If the strike inconveniences you next week, please remember that.”