Auckland Bus Strike Escalates

Release date: 9/03/2016

FIRST Union PRESS RELEASE, 2 March 2016
Auckland bus strike escalates – drivers refuse to handle cash.
Over 100 FIRST Union members from Howick and Eastern Buses are recommencing strike action as the company makes repeated attempts to remove overtime and weekend rates for drivers, says FIRST Union Bus Organiser Rudd Hughes.

“From 4am tomorrow to 4am on Friday drivers from Howick and Eastern Buses will refuse to handle cash. Passengers with cash will see their fare money refused, but they can still travel to their destination.”
“And then from 4am tomorrow to 4am on March 11 drivers will take further actions like refusing sign on to a shift before their rostered shift begins. To prepare for their shifts drivers must arrive early, but this time isn’t considered work time even though they are carrying out duties necessary for their work,” says Hughes.
“At the heart of this issue is the company’s repeated attempts to remove overtime and weekend rates. Drivers often have to work over and above their rostered shifts and they deserve to be paid for the time that they lose with their families, friends and in the community. Howick and Eastern Buses don’t value the drivers’ personal time.”
The strike ending 11 March will also include drivers refusing to drive buses with known safety defects, buses with a defective hop card reader or ticketing machine, and buses without a working radio telephone or warrant of fitness and road user certificate.

Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000 workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's only private sector union.

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