Thursday, September 25, 2008

Locked out

Yesterday, Wellington's bus-drivers staged a one-hour strike in rush hour as part of their campaign for a living wage. In response, bus service operator Go Wellington has locked them out indefinitely, effectively reneging on its contract with Greater Wellington Regional Council to provide service.

The bus drivers' cause is just. They are paid a mere $12.72 an hour - not much more than the minimum wage. That's less than they would get in McDonalds or the Warehouse with no experience or training. It's also less than they would get in Auckland - up there, after a seven month campaign, bus drivers won themselves a base rate of $16 / hour. The Wellington drivers are asking for less - a mere 8.6% increase. They should get it.

If you'd like to help, you can send Go Wellington your thoughts here. Alternatively, you can ask GWRC why it is paying for bus services that are not being delivered and whether they have a penalty clause for non-delivery of services in their contracts here. The Tramways Union is apparently organising a strike fund, and I'll post the details so people can contribute as soon as I see a press release about it.