Fare strikes have seldom been used in New Zealand, but they are a creative form of industrial action that can build public support while putting direct economic pressure on the company.
The company imposed a lockout once it heard a fare strike was likely and has kept the workers locked out despite the drivers withdrawing their notice of a fare strike. The drivers are paid $13.50 an hour and are seeking an increase to $16 an hour.
The drivers’ pay is well below a living wage. The Council of Trade Unions is advocating a minimum wage of $16.30, as that is two-thirds of the average wage.
Support the locked out bus drivers: gather at the Transport Centre in Hamilton at 9.30am Monday 24 November.