Union Says Price Hike Penalises Public Transport Users
Affordable and even free public transport would outweigh the cost of climate change.
Public transport prices are increasing at a time when we should be cutting the price and increasing the frequency of
public transport, says the National Distribution Union who represents bus drivers.
The National Distribution Union represents Howick and Eastern, Ritchies, Urban Express, Birkenhead Transport and Waiheke
Buses urban bus drivers, and is the country’s largest transport union.
Auckland train fares rose between 9.4 per cent and 19 percent with bus fares rising by an average of 7.8 per cent on the
Bus driver and National Distribution Union delegate Jim Kelly from Howick & Eastern buses, says that bus drivers were sympathetic to passengers’ concerns and wanted to work with them to fight for
better public transport.
“In a time when we urgently need to be reducing fossil fuels, increased fares are penalising public transport users for
reducing carbon emissions and further barriers are being created for the majority of potential public transport users
who find it cheaper or more convenient to drive to work,”he said. “For bus drivers, it maintains a tendering system that
keeps bus drivers’ wages down to win contracts.”
National Secretary Laila Harré says that affordable and even free public transport is the most socially just solution to
reduce greenhouse emissions and provide a living wage for workers.
“We need to find better ways to fund public transport than dipping into the pockets of workers” she said. “It would far
outweigh the economic and social costs of climate change and would create jobs.”
The National Distribution Union, Auckland Tramways Union, Akarana Bus Drivers Association and Engineering, Printing and
Manufacturing Union will be campaigning for an Auckland wide Multi-Union Multi-Employer Collective Agreement mid year.
The union supports the rights of public transport users and has researched and was inspired by the Los Angeles Bus
Riders Union worker-community coalition. www.busridersunion.org
National Distribution Union
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
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