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Auckland bus drivers start industrial action

February 9, 2016 5:16 pm

Auckland bus commuters are being warned to expect delays today as drivers start industrial action.

Under the “work to rule” action, drivers will take their full breaks, which could cause delays on some Metrolink, City Link, North Star, Go West and Waka Pacific services.

Auckland Tramways Union spokesman Gary Froggatt said the drivers had become frustrated with low pay, long hours and poor conditions.

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He said the action would continue for the foreseeable future until the drivers’ employer, NZ Bus, restarted negotiations with the drivers.

Mr Froggatt said commuters should expect some delays, although NZ Bus said they would be minimal.

But Mr Froggatt warned the action could escalate.

“It’ll run continuously until we can get back into negotiations with the company. They have told us they are not really interested in continuing the negotiations, so we may have to talk to the mediation service as well to force the company back into mediation.”

NZ Bus Northern chief operating officer Shane McMahon told Morning Report a pay rise was just not on.

“It’s one of the best wage rates in the industry. We want to see the wages increase but we can’t do it at the expense of not being competitive, because that is going to cost jobs down the line.”

Mr McMahon said bus services had been running smoothly so far today.

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