Wellington bus drivers are striking this morning and good on them. I was happy to find my own way to work today. The company, GO Wellington, is claiming the drivers claim of 12% is too much in “these economic times”
But talk of percentages is nothing but a red herring when the basic truth is these drivers are paid less than $13 an hour for a skilled and stressful job. After tax that means about 20 hours of work a week just to rent an average room in Wellington and two hours just to buy a kilo block of cheese. An adult movie ticket? Another two hours. A tank of petrol for an average car? Another ten hours.
As we’ve said again and again we have a problem with low wages in New Zealand and tax cuts are not going to help that. What is going to help that is raising wages and it’s good to see Wellington bus drivers doing what they can to make that happen because under the current market-driven labour-laws nobody else will.