23 Apr 2021

Dawn chorus as Wellington bus drivers start 24-hour strike

From Checkpoint, 5:52 pm on 23 April 2021

It was a noisy wake-up call for some Wellington residents this morning, as bus drivers on strike started the picket line well before sunrise in one of the capital's suburbs.

Chants, car horns, and a brass band were all go for the 24-hour strike, due to end at 4am Saturday.

But service disruptions could last a lot longer after the employer, NZ Bus, decided to lockout the drivers indefinitely once the strike ends.

In a statement, NZ Bus says it wants the dispute settled as soon as possible and want mediation to happen next week.

It says it's also required to attend three days of litigation in the Employment Relations Authority next week that has been brought about by the Union.

NZ Bus has applied to adjourn the ERA proceedings, but says the union isn't supporting that. NZ Bus maintains the offer on the table is good for all drivers - and will help solve the driver shortage issues.

It's committing to pay above the living wage immediately and reach $25 an hour in two years.

Our reporter Harry Lock and cameraman Dom Thomas, went to check out the disruption.