A reader sent in this photo from the Wellington bus drivers’ picket line at the Kilbirnie bus depot. The workers are said to be staunch in their claims and are refusing to be intimidated by the company locking them out without pay.
The Council of Trade Unions and the International Transport Workers’ Federation have now also weighed in on the side of the drivers. The bus drivers’ union is small, it has no financial reserves and is not affiliated to the CTU. This may have led GO Wellington’s HR team to believe they would buckle under the first sign of pressure.
But if there’s one thing the New Zealand union movement won’t tolerate, it’s locking out and bullying low wage workers. The unions will now swing in behind the drivers, and, like with the Progressive lockout, they will back them to the hilt.
I suspect GO Wellington may have bitten off more than it can chew.