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aotearoa / pacific islands | workplace struggles | news report Thursday April 22, 2021 21:14 by AWSM - AWSM
A short review of a current industrial dispute in Aotearoa.
Today bus drivers in Wellington, Aotearoa, are going on strike. How did this come about? The problem originates in the fact that two years ago a private equity firm named Next Capital Investments (NCI) bought Wellington’s bus service, NZ Bus. A year ago pay negotiations with the 280 people who drive the buses became deadlocked. Things have reached the point where the drivers’ collective agreement has expired. An offer from the Greater Wellington Regional Council to NCI to bring the drivers wages up from a base rate of $19.40 an hour to the level of the so-called Living Wage ($22.10) was rejected. Rather, the company wants to press ahead with plans to cut wages and conditions. For example, moving the Wellington drivers to a collective agreement similar to its Auckland drivers, which has a higher base rate but lower penal rates and one week less annual leave. With this as a background, on April 14th angry Tramways Union members voted 204-2 in a secret ballot to take today’s action.