Wellington buses back on the road

A breakthrough was today announced in the dispute between GO Wellington and its bus drivers, but more disruption has not been ruled out.

Drivers began striking at the start of the week after being unable to negotiate what they considered a fair wage, but the company struck back by initiating a lockout of unionised staff from early today.

The city suffered traffic congestion and late arrivals to work as a result, and commuters were bracing for more disruption tomorrow.

However, GO Wellington said notice of strike action had been withdrawn by the Wellington Tramways Union representing the drivers, and that meant they were prepared to resume negotiations tomorrow.

"The notice of strike action has been withdrawn, and as a result it is no longer necessary to suspend our services," GO Wellington general manager Bruce Kenyon said.

He said there was now enough surety to resume all bus services.

"We are delighted to return to the negotiating table as we believe this is the appropriate place to resolve this issue," Mr Kenyon said.

Union secretary Kevin O'Sullivan said the lifting of the lockout was welcome, but the push for better wages would continue.

He said the drivers had had a lot of public support during the dispute and were appreciative.

"However, the lifting of the lockout notice is not the end of this dispute, and unless GO Wellington is willing to offer a fair deal to our members we can't rule out further disruptions."

- NZPA

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