Wellington Central candidate supports bus drivers struggle

– Workers Party Media Release

” Wellington bus drivers have been treated like shit” says Wellington Central Workers Party candidate Don Franks.

“Its a rotten system where hard working folks can be legally locked out for refusing poverty wages.”

“As I said to these drivers at the depot first thing this morning their cause is fully justified and deserves the support of all other workers” Mr Franks said.

“By standing up to the boss and demanding a better income the drivers are taking a stand which will benefit the whole working class.” Mr Franks concluded.

Supporting migrant workers

– Nick Kelly

In February 2007, management at Go Wellington introduced a new shift structure designed to reduce all bus drivers to 8-hour working days, to limit drivers’ access to overtime. At the same time, a document described by drivers as a “scab flat-rate contract” was introduced to weaken the Tramways Union at the Wellington Kilbirnie depot.

As a result of these changes, a number of drivers quit and the company faced a shortage of labour. To fill the gap they began recruiting migrant workers from Fiji. The company also recruited some drivers from agents in Fiji, who would tell applicants to avoid joining the Tramways Union if they came and worked in New Zealand. They were encouraged to join the scab contract with inferior conditions instead.

However, the migrant workers got wise to what was going on and the majority signed up to the Tramways Union.

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Wellington bus drivers resist dirty tactics

– Nick Kelly

Wellington bus drivers continue to struggle against company attacks on their pay and conditions. Tactics employed by NZ Bus include being deceitful about their proposed pay increase, attempting to undermine the high Tramways Union density at the Kilbirnie bus depot, and being disrespectful to union members wishing to attend the recent funeral of long-serving union secretary Phil Griffiths.

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Drivers give it back to the boss

– Nick Kelly

Bruce Emson, CEO of NZ Bus, did his “travelling road show” at the Kilbirnie depot last Monday. His mission was to tell us drivers his vision for “our” company, but also to get feedback from the people who are on the ground.

So midway through his bullshit company presentation Bruce goes, “Look, I’m sick of talking, I want to know if this a good place to work at the moment.” To which the drivers and workshop workers replied with a resounding “NO!”.

A bit taken aback, Bruce then replied, “Oh, OK, well actually I knew that already. So guys, tell me what’s wrong with this job.”

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