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Where you'll get free bus rides in Auckland for a month

Newshub logoNewshub 26/11/2019 Scott Palmer
a man sitting in a car © Provided by Newshub

Some Auckland passengers will get free bus fares for a month as the strike between Go Bus and First Union bus drivers continues.

As a result of their bitter employment dispute, First Union says some routes will get free travel from Wednesday until Christmas Eve.

The free fares strike will affect passengers traveling on Go Bus vehicles from the Mangere and East Tamaki depots.

"A free fares protest is a great way for bus drivers to continue the strike in a non-disruptive fashion while engaging with their passengers and communities," says Jared Abbott, First Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.

"Passengers want to know why they're getting free fares and bus drivers are more than happy to tell them - they are hugely disappointed with Go Bus's combative response to run-of-the-mill fair wage negotiations."

It comes after claims Go Bus managers attempted to drive over workers during a tense Auckland strike two weeks ago.

First Union says three bus drivers have lodged police reports that they were physically harmed during the incident.

"There is an easy fix - join us in good faith negotiations, listen to the workers, and look at your competitors in the bus industry who pay their workers significantly more," Abbott says.

However Go Bus says it's "very disappointed" at the union for trying to portray the union as being unwilling to negotiate.

"We have been ready, willing and able to reach a settlement for some time now, but the union appears to have more interest in grandstanding rather than looking after its Auckland members," Go Bus HR director  Kura Poulava said last week.

"The facts speak for themselves; Go Bus has an offer on the table, we have agreed to mediation, yet the union is still calling a strike."

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