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Infratil and NZ Bus – pay up.

Written By: - Date published: 11:46 am, October 14th, 2009 - 15 comments
Categories: public transport, scoundrels - Tags: ,

Day 7 of the bus strike by Infratil

The idiotic employers at NZ Bus owned by Infratil have dragged their lockout into a 7th day of disrupting Auckland’s commuters. Yesterday they repackaged some of their old proposals and tried to make it look like something new. What the grasping employers want is for the drivers to break their existing contract and do extra work and duties, often for free. Work-to-rule is not industrial action. Doing extra duties is something that employers have no right to demand.

The question that comes to mind today is that I haven’t seen any discussion from NZ Bus or ARTA (Auckland Regional Transport Authority) about recompensing the various passes and concessions that their customers have. These are purchased by many commuters, typically monthly, and allow access to the transport services including buses.

They are not cheap, the one I use costs $175 per month. It has been absolutely useless this last week, I’ve been either been taking a car (and suffering traffic problems and parking costs) or using taxi’s. One of my workmates has a total pass costing $315 per month. It has been effectively useless over the last week because while he can get to Auckland on the ferry, getting from there to work is somewhat tricky.

For people who have concession cards and passes, NZ Bus and its owners Infratil have not been providing the services that they contracted for with myself and other commuters. How exactly do they propose to redress this theft? Perhaps the ARTA should have a look at the obligations of NZ Bus to its card holders.

I’d suggest that a couple of weeks free travel for each week that the employers drag this lockout on for..

15 comments on “Infratil and NZ Bus – pay up. ”

  1. I’m sorry, work-to-rule may not be a strike, but it is industrial action.

    • lprent 1.1

      I’m not sure that is the case under the act. It is in the cases. But that is interesting, isn’t it.

      Working in accordance with the contract or agreement is an industrial action, but not giving extra bonuses by an employer is not. They are exactly the same thing……

      • An implied or explicit term in basically all employment agreements is the obligation for an employee to follow all reasonable instructions from the employer. A work-to-rule notice cuts around this.

        Is it reasonable for an employer to ask a bus driver to take only an 8-minute smoko break between rounds instead of the usual 10 minutes because the bus was a couple of minutes late? Yes. Working-to-rule and saying “I get 10 minutes, so I’ll take my 10 minutes and start this run two minutes late” goes against this.

        • snoozer

          actually, work breaks are now protected by law, graeme, so I don’t think it would be reasonable for an employer to seek to deny them merely because it would put the bus a few minutes behind schedule.

          It’s not the workers’ fault the company can’t get its scheduling sorted and it’s not reasonable for the company not to design their systems so that they can comply with the law.

          • Graeme Edgeler

            Yes. But not necessarily that many work breaks. Drivers on the day shift on my route (no. 3) in Wellington get stops at the end of each 1-1.5 hour leg. This is more than the legal requirement for stops provided in the law (lunch and a morning and afternoon break).

        • lprent

          If it was an exceptional circumstance, that would be the case. However if it is the norm, ie that the employers expected and scheduled it under normal circumstances, it isn’t.

          Is it reasonable to schedule a bus route through heavy traffic and not factor in a lateness factor? If you look at the maxx site, you’ll find that rush hour buses going with the traffic do not have a sufficient fat to actually arrive on time most of the time. By your rule, that mis-scheduling should be the responsibility of the driver to make up the time out of their time. I’d be chewing out the stupid scheduler, preferably by making them drive the route for a week.

          Is it reasonable to run a bus route that requires hours before getting access to a toilet? If a bus is running late, then these bozo manager’s say that they aren’t even given time to go to the depot for a piss.

          Is it reasonable to schedule breaks where there are no toilets? Apparently that happens. Is it reasonable to schedule multiple buses to arrive at the depot at the same time where there are too few toilets?

          At what point do the managers have to start taking responsibility for being unreasonable?

          BTW: I know a lot on scheduling etc… Family tends towards production and operations management, I’ve worked in it, and it was my major in the MBA.

          • Graeme Edgeler

            all perfectly reasonable complaints, but I’m not sure that they go any great distance toward establishing that my arguments on whether work-to-rule is industrial action is wrong.

            • lprent

              Wellington is a rather smaller city with a *lot* less traffic.

            • lprent

              I never disputed that a work-to-rule was industrial action. Just that it isn’t a one-sided system.

              My point is that the employers through crappy scheduling are also indulging in industrial action. Much of this dispute is not over pay, it is over the working conditions that the dickheads from Infratil are trying to impose.

  2. “Perhaps the ARTA should have a look at the obligations of NZ Bus to its card holders”

    Good point.

  3. SMSD 3

    Slightly off topic, is there a bank AC no. for people to donate money to the locked out drivers? I can’t find one anywhere.

  4. rocky 4

    More of the same today? NZ Bus again trying to pretend their offer to end the lockout is new? Again saying only if the union stops their work to contract “strike”?

  5. kris_b 5

    I can’t remember which article I pulled this from, but…

    “NZ Bus says regular customers who use weekly or monthly passes will not be financially disadvantaged by the industrial action. The company says you need to go online and register your card at http://www.gorider.co.nz so the process for reimbursement can be communicated directly over the next few days.”

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