Businesses say bus strike did not cause disruption for commuting staff

Auckland bus drivers protesting over pay and working conditions.

Auckland bus drivers protesting over pay and working conditions.

Despite warnings of potential traffic chaos, Auckland businesses say widespread bus strikes did not stop workers getting to their desks on time on Friday morning.

There were few reports of disruption as more than 1000 NZ Bus drivers and 89 Howick & Eastern drivers took industrial action.

Some of the city's big employers said they took action early, distributing information to staff and giving them options to avoid the rush hour if necessary.

Auckland Council spokeswoman Katherine Forbes said: "Anecdotally, council staff didn't appear to have any problems getting to work this morning. It seems most people heeded advice and made alternative plans if their bus services were affected."

READ MORE: Auckland bus drivers' strike recap

Vodafone's Bailey Tebbutt said staff had been encouraged to work from home if they could.

"Where possible many people have taken that up today.  For those employees that did travel into work this morning, the general consensus is they weren't too impacted by the bus strikes."

Spark also offered similar advice, telling staff they should car pool, take a train or ferry or bike to work if they could. For those who could not, it was suggested they could work different hours to afford peak travel times, or work from home.

ANZ spokesman Pete Barnao said the situation had been similar for bank staff.

"We've seen minimal disruption, with many people taking alternative transport, ride sharing, walking or adjusting the time they travel, or making use of ANZ's flexible working arrangements to work from home."

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ASB spokeswoman Georgina Bond said there was no significant disruption at ASB North Wharf from the bus strike. 

"We informed staff about travel disruptions well in advance of today's strike. People likely to be affected by the bus strike were encouraged to speak to their managers to make suitable arrangements. Many of our staff have mobile device, which enable them to work remotely. As a result, we were not anticipating significant disruption."

Although commuters did not suffer much, striking bus drivers worked to make their point. They picketed bus depots, protesting for pay rises and better breaks.

The strike continues until 4am on Saturday.

 - Stuff


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