Queenstown bus drivers go on strike

bus
The Queenstown strike follows industrial action from bus drivers in Dunedin, Hamilton, Auckland and Wellington. Photo credit: Getty

Queenstown bus drivers working for Ritchies have walked off the job over pay negotiations.

The 24-hour strike started at just after midnight on Friday.

First Union says the company has refused to increase wages after three bargaining sessions.

"Rents in Queenstown take a huge chunk out of someone's income, and to expect drivers to live off anything less than $21 an hour in this town is frankly inhumane," said organiser Ken Young.

"Early on they were trying to attract workers and assist with accommodation, but they're now saying they’re going to withdraw that support. I don't know how they expect people to live."

It is asking for $21 an hour to keep up with living costs in the tourist town, and for the bus fleet to be upgraded.

"Just days after members voted for this strike action a wheel fell off a moving bus," said Mr Young.

"Drivers and passengers also have to put up with air-con units that don't work… The state of buses, they're just simply not fit for purpose."

Newshub has contacted Ritchies for comment.

The Queenstown strike follows industrial action from bus drivers in Dunedin, Hamilton, Auckland and Wellington.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz