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Auckland bus drivers strike

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 19th, 2016 - 63 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Bus drivers are on strike in Auckland today. The strike is an escalation of on-going industrial action designed to bring bus company bosses back to the negotiating table with more of a humanitarian, rather than fiscal, attitude to the plight of their workers. A pamphlet recently handed out to passengers on the Howick and Eastern lines explains part of the situation and asks that members of the public lend what support they can to the drivers.

bus strike

The other company trying to reduce worker conditions and pay is NZBus. Feel free to contact that company and express your support for its drivers too . . .

Ph: 09 373 9118

email: info@nzbus.co.nz

tweet: #busbetter

63 comments on “Auckland bus drivers strike”

  1. AmaKiwi 1

    I want the highest company mangers to have the same conditions as these drivers.

    All toilets at company headquarters will be locked except for 10 minutes once every two or three hours.

    Be required to sit in a bare office with no cell phone or laptop for up to three hours during every working day.

    Screw up their work shifts so they can’t get weekends off to go out on their yachts or go to their baches.

    Who are these managers who are refusing to negotiate? I want them named and shamed.

  2. shorts 2

    on my bus home last night a number of passengers wished the driver wellfor the strike

    they aren’t alone in wanting better conditions and pay, many of those that share their workspace support them

    selfishly I hope today shows my employer that my working from home isn’t the end of the world

  3. BM 3

    Driverless buses.

    http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/hop-on-board_driverless-buses-hit-the-streets-of-sion/41846698

    Lets be honest it’s the best thing that could ever happen to public transport, buses would run 24 -7, fares would be cheaper and they don’t go on strike.

    It’s only matter of time

    • vto 3.1

      driverless buses
      farmerless cows
      builderless houses
      teacherless schools

      when we reach this nirvana we will of course have to construct another method of spreading the wealth as because there will be no jobs that method will fail.

      of course we already have the leading edge of this now

      it is just that some people are quite slow in their thinking and realisations.

      • BM 3.1.1

        Bus driving seems like a rather shitty job, long hours, bad home life, poor work conditions and the pay isn’t great.

        Obviously the best option is to just automate the process.

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          Of course, couldn’t agree more….

          But these things cannot be done without provision being made for members of society who subsequently have their means of support pulled…

          don’t you think?

          • BM 3.1.1.1.1

            I agree.

            It’s going to be an issue going forward and there’s going to be quite a few people having to rethink their futures.

            • pat 3.1.1.1.1.1

              “…..there’s going to be quite a few people having to rethink their futures.”

              as long as its not the top 10% eh!….have some bad news for you BM..

            • vto 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Not quite BM. It is society that has to rethink, not just the ones affected..

              You see BM, it is this exact point that right wingers just completely miss.

              The problem is not just for a few, the problem is for all of us. We are social creatures remember (I know this doesn’t fit neoliberal religion and individualism and self interest, but that will soon evaporate, that extreme thought)

              • BM

                Capitalism as we know won’t work in an automated society, a more socialist orientated system will be a much better fit.

                I find it amusing that socialists will fight the processes that will bring about the socialist nirvana they so desperately want.

                • vto

                  Hmmmm…. I think you will find, as always, it is the socialists who are leading the charge and trying to bring about that state of play. It is the capitalists who are fighting to keep the status quo.

                  Always follow the hippies BM, always follow the hippies…..

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.1.3

              You’ll love Labour Future Of Work proposals!😆

              It’s all about automation.

            • Graeme 3.1.1.1.1.4

              Ray Bradbury wrote a short story in 1951 about the automated world that you want BM, it’s a nice little read

              http://mikejmoran.typepad.com/files/pedestrian-by-bradbury-1.pdf

              • Anno1701

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mega-City_One

                99% unemployment

                Most work in Mega-City One is carried out by robots; this has led to problems with boredom and unemployment.Boredom has fostered many problems in the city, with citizens spending their leisure time rioting over jobs, experimenting on their neighbors, and running amok in the streets. Weird fads include Block Wars (wars between neighboring apartment blocks, waged by each block’s defense militia), “ugliness clinics”, and odd fashions.

                sure its only a comic but still an interesting comparison

        • weka 3.1.1.2

          “Obviously the best option is to just automate the process.”

          how does the bus tell people it’s the right bus, or which is the right one if it’s not? Or where the route has been changed that day because of roadworks or an accident? etc.

    • James 3.2

      +1 on that BM.

      Personally I think all public transport should be made driverless as soon as possible (and any new rail made so immediately – like the docklands link in the UK).

      The sooner the entire public is not held to ransom by drivers of public transport the better.

    • maui 3.3

      With built-in silent driver and driver rage modes for a more human experience.

    • Lanthanide 3.4

      Drivers also provide a service to their passengers, giving them directions around town and telling them which bus service to take to get to a particular destination. A robot isn’t going to be able to do that as effectively or efficiently for at least another 10 years.

      Drivers also provide security to passengers, by acting as an official presence.

      It is not clear that replacing existing buses with expensive self-driving ones, or retrofitting expensive self-driving modules, would reduce fares.

      Bus drivers very seldom go on strike.

      Busses are delayed due to traffic and having to pick up and drop off passengers, *not* because of drivers. In fact, drivers have extra leeway, if they get far enough behind schedule, to simply take a shortcut on the route in order to catch up. Contrast that with:
      “Some EPFL students said they preferred to walk rather than take the buses, which they felt were too slow, stopping too frequently to identify objects. ”

      A bus which is slower than walking isn’t a viable public transport solution.

      • BM 3.4.1

        I agree driverless buses aren’t quite ready for mainstream use, like you say another 5-10 years.

        Which is good in a way, gives bus drivers an opportunity to transition into other careers.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.4.1.1

          Forget driverless buses.

          I want a passenger drone:

          http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/06/184-delivery-drone-for-people/

          • BM 3.4.1.1.1

            I like it.

          • vto 3.4.1.1.2

            Lordy. Wouldn’t mind being around for the next couple hundred years to see all these things take off ……..

            personal flying machines created
            life found elsewhere in the universe
            riddle of the pyramids solved
            last remaining Neanderthal resting place found
            even spread of the worlds wealth
            live to 200 years of age
            more ocean

            • alwyn 3.4.1.1.2.1

              An interesting set of items. Made me think anyway.
              (1) Personal flying machines. They were being proposed in the 1940s as something that was coming soon. I think they are like Fission Power. It will always be 50 years in the future. Unless they can get suitable drones but why bother?
              (2) Finding life elsewhere. Almost certain I would think.
              (3) Pyramids. What is the riddle? Isn’t it agreed they were merely tombs?
              (4) Last remaining Neanderthal. That would mean that mankind became extinct surely. Nearly everyone is Neanderthal apparently.
              https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/neanderthal/
              (5) Even wealth. Try a few million years I suspect.
              (6) 200 years old. Does that really seem possible? The average lifespan seems to rise but the maximum doesn’t seem to have changed. Some ancient Greeks seem to have been 90 (eg Democritus) at their death 2,500 years ago.
              (7) Bring on global warming!

            • gsays 3.4.1.1.2.2

              hi vto, i want to add to your list:
              tories evolve a compassion and empathy and realise it isn’t just about me.

      • alwyn 3.4.2

        From the reactions reported in the Herald this morning perhaps getting rid of buses completely is the way to go?
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11592200

    • Incognito 3.5

      Because the most valuable skills to possess as we advance into the 21st century are those of deep human interaction, something we are losing the ability to do. Geoff Colvin, in his article Humans are Underrated, paints an incredibly powerful picture of the future of work — one where many human jobs will be replaced by robots and computers. In that world the skills that will be most sought-after are the ones that robots can’t easily replicate: relationship-building, deep listening, empathy, connecting with others, cultural sensitivity, collaborating.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11585247

  4. NZJester 4

    It is all about the almighty dollar for companies these days. They can make record profits but will first pay that out to the investors instead of investing it back into the company and giving workers a pay rise.

    • AmaKiwi 4.1

      The promise of industrialization has always been that machines will do the work and people will enjoy more leisure time.

      It’s a Big Lie. We work longer hours and are deeper in debt than ever before.

      Why?

      1. A steadily increasing amount of our incomes goes to banks to pay interest on credit cards, cars, and the landlord’s mortgages.
      2. We consume vast quantities of garbage the advertisements say will bring us love, status, and peace of mind . . . but don’t.
      3. We pay much of our incomes to pharma monopolies to cure ailments whose cause is usually unhealthy lifestyles, poisonous multinational manufactured calories (diabetes), alcohol, and drugs.

      Enough of this Big Lie. Wake up! We can change the system.

      My first suggestion is a 100% tax on junk advertising, the proceeds going to public service advertisements about how to live healthier for less and how to get out of debt. It’s called competition. Let the public hear both sides of the argument.

      • vto 4.1.1

        I think your number 2 is changing fast…..

        More and more people see greater things in consuming less and less of that garbage

        It is one of the conundrums the central bankers and other econo-coneheads can’t fathom

        • AmaKiwi 4.1.1.1

          vto

          I am skeptical. Try this little fantasy trip which I do from time to time.

          Go to the shopping mall and fantasize closing EVERY store that sells non-essentials. (Don’t forget the food hall.) Go into some stores that sell essentials (chemist, supermarket, etc.) and imagine stripping off the shelves all the items that are non-essentials.

          I end up with a shopping mall with enough vacant space for a min-hospital, an elementary school, or enough “social housing” to house all the needy in my community.

  5. Bill 5

    What if they’d gone to work and just declined to collect fares?

    Boss hit hard and public guaranteed to be sympathetic 🙂

    • vto 5.1

      That’s the one, clever clogs… brilliant

      • Bill 5.1.1

        I can’t take the credit. It’s an old tactic, tried and tested. The specific example is one that has been used on buses before and yielded results.

        Anyway. It was always something that ‘got’ me when I was involved in union activities – the paucity of imagination and falling back on the ‘same old, same old’.

        The trick is to maintain the workers’ income. Get the general public on side…never alienate them. And hammer the bosses pocket.

        In the example offered by the post, the bosses would have running costs on top of wages being paid versus no income to deal with. Would have been kind of funny if people had suddenly flocked to public transport and forced the lesson that high turnover for lower margin is a win/win (but I’m really only thinking of Dunedin’s ridiculously expensive bus fares when I say that)

    • weka 5.2

      “What if they’d gone to work and just declined to collect fares?”

      Would that put their jobs at risk via employment law eg a warning for not doing one’s job properly, or would the very large nature of the action mean that the bosses wouldn’t have the power to do that eg it would escalate action?

      • gsays 5.2.1

        hi weka,
        re putting thier jobs at risk.
        a bit like in the ’70s or ’80s when pot decriminilisation came up, lots of celebs ‘outed’ themselves as imbibers of the weed.
        the headline was ‘too many smokers to arrest’.

        what i am getting at is if ALL drivers acted together (in union?), they cant be fired together.

        btw thanks bill for mentioning this tactic.

  6. alwyn 6

    It is only incidental to this topic but I understand that tickets are being issued to car drivers who use the bus lanes. Does anyone know the justification for that? If there are more cars on the road because there are no buses it seems only sensible to let them travel in otherwise empty bus lanes.

    • Dv 6.1

      In a report i saw it was justified by
      There still some buses
      And
      Bikes use the lanes

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        “Bikes use the lanes”
        My God. I don’t think I would dare to ride a bike in a bus lane. The suction when a large bus passes you at close range is not very pleasant.
        However thanks for the info.

  7. The Fairy Godmother 7

    Toilet breaks is a huge issue and having to hold causes nasty complaints such as cystisis – bladder infections. Sometimes at my work when we are working at minimum ratios we have to ask our colleagues to keep an eye out in our area but we still go when we have to go. I think it would be awful to not be allowed to go to the toilet when needed. Potentially it could make for an insafe driver. Just imagine trying to focus on driving when ones bladder is really full and you desperately need to go. Management are monstrous.

  8. adam 8

    As a person who use the buses in Auckland, I’d like to see many of the bus drivers conditions change.

    Including, but not restricted to ending the sickening system of split shifts.

    If nothing else this is just another example of why AT(tm) is a bit of a wreck. The privatization model is just as fubar as the previous model.

    Time for democratic control of workplaces.

  9. Expat 9

    Does anyone know the stats on industrial actions since this govt has been in power,
    I can’t recall a single industrial strike under the Clark govt, we always seem to see a proliferation of industrial action under right wing govt’s, they’re always trying to screw over the workers, don’t they understand that lowering wages and conditions is counter productive for the economy and growth.
    Low morale in industries and work places from this type of behavior has a dramatic effect on productivity.

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 10

    Anyone notice how well the traffic moved this morning with no public transport on it?

  11. upnorth 11

    Buses are a blight on our roads
    Rail and cars only way – cycle lanes unsure

    I am really concerned when everyone gets a degree we will have no one to drive the buses!

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