Bus drivers stay strong

October 12, 2009

Day five of the Auckland Bus Drivers lockout and the workers are still standing firm. The mood on the picket line at the North Shore depot was determined, with drivers saying they are prepared for a showdown that may last two weeks, like their last lockout four years ago.

Auckland bus drivers outside a bus depot

Auckland bus drivers outside a bus depot

One longstanding driver told us: “When NZ Bus took over from Stagecoach a few years back, we thought, yay, we’ll see some improvement at last now it’s a New Zealand employer. But the truth is, they are no better than Stagecoach!”

An Exclusive Education

October 12, 2009

Reprinted from the Capital Times. Organising meeting 5pm Wednesday, Collins Room, Student Union Building, Victoria University of Wellington.

ONCE upheld as the bastion of liberal thinking in Wellington, Victoria University is turning into a capitalist business, say past students.
Workers Party parliamentary aspirant and political activist Don Franks has had a long association with the university. He was a student in 1968, worked as a cleaner there during the 1990s, and was the event-coordinator for the Students’ Association for 18 months. He says it’s clear the university no longer tolerates political dissent, and the barring of two former students following a protest against fee rises recently is the clincher.

“Suddenly people are booted off the premises. Just about every student is pissed off about the fee rises. What I’ve observed is things tightening up in an ugly way,” Franks says.

He says this extends to the programmes the university offers – a dwindling number of “more liberal studies” and an increase in business related degrees.

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