New Zealand / Transport

Tit-for-tat continues between Wellington union and bus company

19:15 pm on 24 July 2018

The tit-for-tat between the Wellington bus driver's union and their employer continues with both parties accusing the other of not cooperating.

Commuters at a bus stop in Newtown Photo: RNZ / Emma Hatton

New Zealand Tramways Union asked to sit down and negotiate a collective agreement with Tranzit, however the company claimed the invitation was just a "stunt".

Tranzit managing director Paul Snelgrove said there would be no meeting.

"The letter media have from Kevin O'Sullivan is just another stunt. Time and again his claims have been shown to be false."

Tramways secretary Kevin O'Sullivan said he sent an invitation to Tranzit this afternoon, in response to comments made by Mr Snelgrove that it was the union holding things up.

"[We] have invited him to a meeting on Friday. We haven't heard back yet, it's still early days," he said.

But shortly after the invitation went out, Mr Snelgrove said a meeting was not happening.

"We are prepared to speak with Kevin O'Sullivan but not while he continues his lone campaign of intimidation and fearmongering of our staff."

Mr O'Sullivan said long shifts were one of the main issues the union wanted target in a collective agreement.

Some drivers, mostly in the Hutt Valley, were being asked to work 14-hour days with only two or three hour breaks in between.

Yesterday the union commenced indefinite industrial action, with drivers only working eight hours on certain routes, mostly in the Hutt Valley.

Mr Snelgrove said no drivers were working illegal 14-hour shifts and the strike was a failed attempt by the union to "wreck" things for Hutt commuters.

No drivers had taken part in the strike, he said.

But Mr O'Sullivan said members did take part and would continue to do so until issues were addressed.

He denied Mr Snelgrove's allegations.