It was fairly impressive this morning to see swathes of people people enjoying the Wellington spring sunshine as they walked to work along the waterfront. Sadly this massive increase in pedestrians was all due to entirely the wrong reasons. No matter what you may think of Go Wellington’s industrial dispute with its bus drivers, a lock out is a nasty way to resolve an employment dispute. Locking out 300 lowly paid drivers indefinitely in response to a one hour strike is a severe escalation that will result in hardship for workers and their families.
Go Wellington has worked hard to build up its good will and credibility with the Wellingon public since taking over the buses from Stagecoach. It would be a shame to lose that all just as more and more people are starting to ask for real practical alternatives to conjestion and cars.
Anyway, it’s a nice morning to be walking, cycling, jogging or skateboarding. I saw a rollerblader too. I hope commuters enjoyed their trip to town however they got there.
UPDATE – Sue Kedgley’s media release here:
Wellington’s bus drivers are valued members of our community and deserve decent wages to support themselves and their families. I am shocked by the company’s decision to make their financial situation even worse by locking them out.
The drivers’ low wages are symptomatic of the general underinvestment in our public transport system. Buses are overcrowded at peak hours, there are not enough new trolley buses to replace the older ones and we need to be doing more to financially incentivise people to use buses in order to reduce congestion our roads and carbon emissions