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300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

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Over 300 Go Wellington bus drivers and workshop workers who took industrial action to protest $12.72 poverty wages will be locked out from tomorrow unless they accept the companies offer. [ Lockout Notice and Union media release | Workers Party: Background to Wellington Bus Lockout ]

Indymedia Exclusive: The company is accusing Wellington Tramways Union President Nick Kelly of stealing a bus and taking it to a union stopwork meeting.

Manufacturing and Construction Union members have joined the fight by refusing to refuel buses.[ Dom Post Article ] Wellington WP candidate Don Franks has slammed Go Wellington for treating workers like shit. "By standing up to the boss and demanding a better income the drivers are taking a stand which will benefit the whole working class."

You can support these workers by raising money for them, and attending solidarity actions. Organise your own!

Wellington: Picket details
Auckland: Thursday collection | Protest details

Comments

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Solidarity!

From Thursday 25th Wellington bus drivers will be locked out of their jobs, after hopes to raise some of their wages from a mere $12.72 an hour was denied by their employers, Go Wellington. This means there will be no buses running for an indefinite time in the city of Wellington.

Of course, you'll hear the mainstream media discuss this issue with regard to how the strike will affect traffic in Wellington — already Channel 3 have ended their news story with 'parent's will have to take their kids to school themselves', or 'get to work yourselves', side-stepping the real issues such as the shamful rate of pay for these workers. By focusing on the distruption of city traffic the media help the company's cause, getting the public to call for a return to normality — which is in short, a return to wage slavery and a defeat for the bus drivers. The fact that this kind of distruption may occur shows how the valuable a service the bus driver performes, and should be rewarded accordingly.

As workers ourselves, we should support the Wellington bus drivers and their requests. By showing solidarity, contributing to the strike fund, or even striking in sympathy in our own unions or workplaces, we realise the fact that the dispute is not just a local one — that industrial issues relate across the board to all of our working lives: in our own jobs and in our own workplaces. Such is the nature of 'the beast'.

Garage Collective calls for solidarity with the Wellington bus drivers, their unions, and any unions, groups or individuals who
stands in support. An injury to one is an injury to all!

Cheers

Jared D

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Can you tell us how to donate to the strike fund pls?

Who can live on $12.72ph?

RAM - Residents Action Movement
Media release 24 September 2008

Who can live on $12.72ph?

Industrial action by around 300 Go Wellington bus drivers starts today, after the company withdrew its pay offer late yesterday afternoon.

"RAM is organising a People's Procession to Parliament, calling for GST off food", said RAM industrial relations spokesperson and Wellington Central candidate Grant Brookes. "But to make ends meet, low-paid people at the grassroots also need pay rises."

"Company profits have soared in recent years, but the invisible majority have been left out in the cold. A lot of people are saying 'good on the bus
drivers', and so is RAM."

Go Wellington cut weekly take-home pay in 2007 by changing rosters and overtime. Average earnings this year are down around 9 percent on 2005.

"Harsh legal restrictions on the right to strike during the term of a Collective Employment Agreement meant the drivers couldn't take action to defend themselves at the time. Cases like this show why RAM is campaigning to restore to workers their full and free right to strike."

"Go Wellington's current starting rate of $12.72 an hour is not enough to live on. Their earlier pay offer, rejected at a mass meeting on Monday, did not even make up for last year's pay cuts. RAM thinks no-one in New Zealand should earn less than $15 an hour, which should be the new minimum wage."

"Wellington drivers have voted two to one to exercise their legal right to strike. It's grassroots democracy and People Power in action," said Mr Brookes.

Roger Fowler, RAM transport spokesperson and Mangere candidate, added: "We need free and frequent public transport in our main cities. Clogged motorways and rising climate-changing exhaust gases demand this common sense solution."

"More buses and more drivers will be needed. But the Go Wellington bus company has lost over 150 drivers in the last 18 months because their pay rates are too low."

RAM calls on Go Wellington to re-enter negotiations with the Tramways Union and address their moderate claim.

For more information, contact:

Grant Brookes
RAM industrial relations spokesperson & Wellington Central candidate
grant_brookes at paradise.net.nz
(027) 203 3534

Roger Fowler
RAM transport spokesperson & Mangere candidate
mangere.east.access at paradise.net.nz
(021) 299 9491

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

$12.72 per hour? I got that in 1986. Thanks Labour, Roger Douglas, and all the neo-cons who have oppressed us since then.

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Yes does anyone have details for the strike fund? If so, post it up!

Jared D

get those buses back on the roads!

Bus driving is monkey work and not worth much more than $12.72 an hour

Solidarity from Socialist Aotearoa

Our members in the Unite union will be out collecting on Queen Street in Auckland lunchtime tomorrow, and will be spreading the word about Friday's rally at Infratil / Stagecoach's HQ.

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

"RAM calls on Go Wellington to re-enter negotiations with the Tramways Union and address their moderate claim."

For fucks sake. The workers have been talking since April, and nothings come of it. The company isn't interested in negotiations, and we now have a LOCKOUT going on. The time for negotiations is over - it's time to fight!

And just when you think it could get no more pathetic... RAM hastens to add that this claim is "moderate". Well thank goodness for that! We wouldn't want to support a militant, radical claim now would we!

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

As usual, I forget to sign my post! :S

Alastair Reith, Workers Party.

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

I'll third the query on the strike fund. Where can we donate money?

Idiot/savant
No Right Turn - New Zealand's liberal blog
http://norightturn.blogspot.com/

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Settle down Alastair. A minor wage rise is a moderate demand. Driver's self-management of Go Wellington is radical demand. It's all very well to be spoiling for a fight, but I imagine the bus drivers would be just as happy to have their employer in negotiation with their union, so they can keep earning wages, and have some chance of getting their moderate claim for higher wages fulfilled.

While I am fully in support of the drivers and their action, it must be observed that a major industrial conflict in the lead-up to a general election strengthens the hand of pro-employer parties and elements, who will argue that this is what you get for 'giving workers a loose leash' under a 'liberal government'. It would be best both for the drivers, and the union movement, for this dispute to be settled as quickly and decisively as possible.

I guess the lockout means no chance of drivers continuing to operate services, but refusing to pay? I wonder if other public transport workers could be convinced to do this on their behalf?

Strypey

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Oviously I meant refusing to charge passengers, not "refusing to pay". Oops.

Strypey

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

The Tramways Union needs to stop letting Graham Clark speak for them. The man was a shocker on Checkpoint last night with his union hardman image. "We're not backing down!" etc.

I'm sorry guys but as militant as we all are we need to realise that this battle may be won or lost in the media because if the public turn against the drivers they're screwed. Their support is crucial.

For that to happen and for public support to be maintained they need to see vulnerable low wage workers attacked by a big nasty employer. They don't need to see negative stereotypes of a 1970s union hardman. I don't doubt Clark's commitment to the struggle, but he's doing the Tramways members a disservice.

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

I fully support the drivers in their action. From what I've seen a complete lockout by Go Wellington seems completely out of proportion when compared to the one hour strike by the drivers.

The buses are my only form of transport around wellington, I'd much rather have a few late buses then none at all.

Go Drivers!

Erica

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Bank account details will be posted up here, when as soon as it is set up.

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

This is exactly where economic reformation should address by not redirecting money to Banks and Financial companies but to top up workers salaries. The money paid directly to Banks and financial companies are easy stock gifted without labour and sweat devoid of any tangible values. It undermines labour values and any monetary worth. The money given to top up labour wages is regenerated through the economy for true gain and at the same preventing any social consequences.

By opposing monetary policies is beneficial for labour wages and the working class. Neither Labour nor National has a true socialist economist.

Karl Marx

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Kia Ora

How do we send a koha ova from overseas?

Love & Solidarity to the Poneke Bus Drivers

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

perhaps contact the unite union? http://www.unite.org.nz/
or someone else that would have contact with the locked out drivers -

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

perhaps contact the unite union? http://www.unite.org.nz/
or someone else that would have contact with the locked out drivers -

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

opps - double post -

contact details

Nick Kelly
Wellington Tramways Union

Contact:
ph 021584294
socialist42 (at) hotmail.com

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Lockout's been lifted, they're in mediation.

But

Sure give them a pay rise but if they are getting more money they should also learn how to drive and about the basics of the road code, most of the bus drivers don't seem to have these abilties

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

To the pathetic anoymous wanker who has a problem with Grame Clark's advocacy. If you think prissy pr ever won workers a cent you're much mistaken.
You deserve to be stuck in a union with some overpaid mealy mouthed government apologist fronting for it. Which is the unhappy lot of too many workers in this country.
Grame Clark is a staunch workers representitive and has been for over 30 years. There are not enough such union leaders around today and their contribution should be honoured.

Don Franks

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

If there's a problem with dodgy driving across the board, that still comes down to the company. It's the company's job to hire and train people, but under Infratil the primary aim has been cutting costs - to the point where a lot of experienced drivers quit last year.

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

"they should also learn how to drive and about the basics of the road code, most of the bus drivers don't seem to have these abilties"
I think you mean taxi drivers. Bus drivers are above average for NZ drivers. Not saying much, I know, but ...

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

Donations now on main page of Unite;

unite.org.nz

Re: 300 Welly Bus Drivers locked out - Stand strong, Fight back!

how do I work in New Zealand as driver