Auckland bus drivers to strike, thousands of commuters affected
Nearly 100,000 Auckland commuters will need to find alternative transport on Friday when about 70 per cent of the city's bus drivers strike for better work conditions.
More than 1000 NZ Bus drivers and 70 Howick & Eastern drivers will take industrial action from 4am on Friday until 4am on Saturday.
Auckland Council organisation Auckland Transport is responsible for Auckland's bus network which carries about 120,000 commuters a day - about 65 per cent of which travelled on NZ Bus buses.
Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan advised Auckland bus commuters affected by the strike to find alternative transport on Friday.
Its main priority was to maintain the running of about 120 school buses affected by the industrial action.
"We're looking to see what services we can maintain, particularly in the school area."
NZ Bus made up about 70 per cent of buses on Auckland Transport's network, Hannan said.
Services provided by bus companies other than NZ Bus and Howick and Eastern would operate as well as trains and ferries.
AT was looking at what advertising it could do to educate commuters of the strike, he said.
NZ Bus operates 5000 trips a day in Auckland on its Metrolink, North Star, Waka Pacific and Go West services.
Auckland Transport was in discussions with NZ Bus about contingencies but ultimately the strike was a matter between NZ Bus and the union, he said.
About 1200 drivers worked on AT's bus network.
Tramways Union president Gary Froggatt said strike notice was given on Monday morning.
Instead of being on duty bus drivers would be picketing bus depots.
The union was seeking better pay for bus drivers and better breaks during shifts.
Friday will be the third day of strike action this month for Auckland bus drivers - having walked off the job last Wednesday and the Thursday before that, on the same day the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement was signed.
NZ Bus has been approached for comment.