8 Dec 2019

Last minute meeting to try and solve Auckland bus drivers' dispute

8:05 pm on 8 December 2019

A bus drivers union says a meeting tonight with NZ Bus has failed to resolve the stalemate over their industrial dispute, and some buses won't be running tomorrow.

The 125X at Westgate's interim bus hub

Photo: RNZ / Todd Niall

An eleventh hour meeting was held in Auckland earlier today, in an effort to solve the bus drivers' dispute.

Drivers were suspended and thousands of bus trips in Auckland operated by the company NZ Bus were cancelled last week after drivers refused to collect fares.

They're pushing for better wages and conditions and have been holding pickets across the city over the weekend.

A meeting has been called between the unions and NZ Bus this afternoon but Jared Abbott from First Union doubts it will be productive.

"Our position is very simple. All the company needs to do is to withdraw their suspension notices and the buses will be back on the road. If they're looking for concessions from us, then it may not be that fruitful a meeting."

Mr Abbott said the unions want a short-term solution to get the bus drivers back to work and to end the disruptions. He said drivers need a better pay rate and a solution that may take a bit longer, to deal with the problem around contracting and how it currently works.

If a solution isn't reached, many buses are likely to be off Auckland's roads again tomorrow, possibly until Christmas.

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