Drivers also raised a unanimous vote of no confidence in the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and called for a commissioner to take over the region’s public transport.
Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan says the strike is a matter of last resort. “We have been trying to get Tranzit to negotiate for months and still have no offer from them or any indication they are taking the bargaining seriously. This is why we have now had to set a deadline.
“Meanwhile the GWRC has been telling us everything is fine and refusing to hold their contractors to account for their lack of good faith. It’s become clear that the Council has no intention of fixing the industrial dispute or the public transport system. They need to have it taken away from them before they make matters worse.
“There is no way that Wellington’s bus system can be fixed without a fair deal for drivers. Until this is settled the driver shortage will continue, the industrial action will continue, and drivers will continue to have no reason to even try to make this broken system work.
“We don’t want to make life harder for Wellington commuters, the council has already done enough of that, but if we don’t take a stand things are only going to get worse for everyone. I think the people of Wellington understand that which is why our members have had so much support.”
Companies facing industrial action are: Tranzurban Wellington and Hutt (Tranzit), Uzabus, and NZ Bus.