24 Sep 2008

Bus services resume

12:23 pm on 24 September 2008

Bus services in Wellington are back to normal following a rush hour strike.

About 200 members of the Tramways Union walked off the job from 7.30 - 8.30am on Wednesday, following a breakdown in pay talks with the bus operator, Go Wellington.

The company has issued a lockout notice to the workers, from 5.30am on Thursday.

In response, the union has announced a rolling strike from midnight on Wednesday, unless the company can present a better pay offer.

The Manufacturing & Construction Workers Union is also joining the action: some of its members will not re-fuel buses on Wednesday afternoon.

Claim details

On Tuesday, the Tramways Union rejected an offer of a pay increase of 7% and demand between 8% - 12% instead.

It claims that pay for its 311 members was, in effect, cut last year when the company limited working hours.

The bus company says health and safety concerns were largely behind the cut in hours.

Chief executive Bruce Emson told Morning Report the situation follows three months of negotiations, and that their best pay offer is on the table.

He said that includes a 7% pay increase for this year, a 4.3% increase for next year as well as a one-off payment of $250 to each driver.