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Driver stoush continues between Tramways and Tranzit

Arguments and contrary claims continue to fly between the union representing bus drivers and their employer.

Tramways Union Secretary Kevin O’Sullivan sent a formal invitation yesterday to Tranzit Group managing director Paul Snelgrove inviting him to a Friday meeting at Trades Hall to commence bargaining.

He says that the union wants to settle a fair collective agreement, particularly over the main issue of long shifts.

The Union said that 50 drivers in the Hutt Valley worked to rule on Monday in protest at claims of 14-hour illegal shifts.

“We’ve spent the last year and a half trying to get this sorted for our members and the public,” said O’Sullivan.

“We need to get on with making sure Wellington’s bus service gets back up on its feet as soon as possible.”

However Tranzit Group managing director Paul Snelgrove claimed that the letter from O’Sullivan was “just another stunt.”

“There is no meeting on Friday. We are prepared to speak with Kevin O’Sullivan. But not while he continues his lone campaign of intimidation and fear-mongering of our staff.”

Tranzurban, the division of Tranzit that operates a big part of the new Metlink bus network, reported progress with commuter and school bus services in the Hutt Valley and Wellington yesterday.

“No significant disruptions again today – another top effort from our team,” said Snelgrove.

He also claimed that no drivers took part in strike action on Monday, that Tranzurban is not short of 200 drivers to run Wellington and Hutt Valley services as claimed by the union, and that Tranzit drivers are not illegally working 14-hour shifts.

O’Sullivan denied Snelgrove’s allegations, responding that Hutt Valley drivers had commenced indefinite industrial action, and would continue to do so until issues were addressed.