By Ollie Ritchie
Bus passengers have been left waiting today as hundreds of bus drivers walked off the job to hold a stop-work meeting.
Drivers were disputing poor rosters and pay, with some left working 13-hour days during peak traffic periods.
But today, it was the passengers who got the raw deal.
Aucklanders were left in the lurch after 80 percent of the city's bus drivers walked off the job. One person says there was no signage saying the buses were cancelled.
Instead Auckland's bus drivers arrived in busloads to send a clear message NZ Bus bosses over what they say are poor work conditions.
"Obviously we're talking about the money, but we're also talking about the conditions and the conditions is a major plank for us, particularly the onset of fatigue and stress within the workplace," says Phil Morgan, First Union head delegate.
First Union says some drivers are working more than 13 hours in one shift. It's demanding a 2.95 percent boost in pay and better rostering hours for drivers.
"Our drivers are getting up 3:30am, 4am [and going] down to the depot," Mr Morgan says. "They may work the first half of their shift up until 9am or 10am. They will then get four hours off. They will then go back and do the afternoon."
NZ Bus says it's in the early stages of bargaining and is hopeful a suitable agreement will be reached.
Today's stop-work action put Auckland's bus service on hold for four hours, disrupting some passengers' Christmas shopping plans.