Written By: - Date published: 1:31 pm, November 19th, 2018 - 70 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, boycott, business, capitalism, class war, Economy, jobs, Unions, wages, workers' rights, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: living wage, lock out, Unions
Two iwi who you would have hoped would know better are bullying bus drivers in the Waikato.
Council of Trade Unions President Richard Wagstaff has called for donations to the welfare fund for FIRST Union members who have been locked out by Tainui and Ngai Tahu owned Go Bus in the Waikato.
“This employer has cynically tried to tank driver’s incomes right before Christmas, because they dared to ask for a living wage,” Wagstaff says.
Go Bus is owned by the two well funded iwi, neither of whom appears to give a shit about working people.
First Union divisional secretary Jared Abbott said it was time for Go Bus’ owners to get involved in the dispute.
“In any situation in an industrial dispute like this that escalates to this level, it’s time for the owners to step in and take some responsibility for what is going on.”
However, that may be a forlorn hope unless people rally behind the drivers. The CTU’s Richard Wagstaff points to the way forward:
“The next step is telling operators who tender for contracts by squeezing drivers’ wages and conditions, like Go Bus, Tranzit, Ritchies Murphy and Pavlovich, that commuters aren’t having it. Working people are firmly on the side of the drivers getting them safely around our towns and cities, and they support the living wage.”
We tend to go easy on iwi owned enterprises, however the reality is that they are capitalist businesses who will happily rip off their workers. Ironically, Ngai Tahu claim to be in favour of paying the Living Wage, though that is clearly bullshit. What they actually are in favour of is using economic violence against workers.
Council of Trade Unions Maori Vice President, Syd Keepa, says Go Bus has iwi members driving its buses and the union is calling for the two iwi to step in:
“The drivers, many of which whakapapa to the iwi that own Go Bus, are asking the iwi to step in and assist in a resolution with the company because the abysmal wages are having a depressing effect on the drivers’ wellbeing, their families and their respective communities. Ngai Tahu are a Living Wage employer, yet when their own people put their hand up for a decent rate they have been locked out.”
Please donate to the drivers. They and their families are going to need considerable help over the next few weeks. The website is: http://busfair.nz/donate/
Tell them they should be ashamed of themselves.