Hamilton bus drivers today set up blockades and are reportedly stepping in front of moving buses as strike action heats up.

The First Union members set up a blockade at Hamilton's Transport Centre as well as the Go Bus depot.

However, Waikato Regional Council's public transport operations manager Andrew Wilson said there had even been reports of union members stepping in front of moving buses.

Wilson said buses that were unobstructed and able to continue operating safely would do so but the action meant there were limited services running again today.


"We respect people's right to a peaceful and respectful protest. But union representatives putting themselves or others in danger is a serious concern for us.

"The union have been spoken with on a number of occasions, asking that protests are carried out in a safe manner, but it would appear these requests are being ignored.

"We are very disappointed that passengers in Hamilton who rely on our buses to get to work and school, including NCEA exams, are being so seriously impacted.

"We apologise to our passengers, who will experience significant delays across our services again today," he said.

The action by drivers comes two days after similar action on Monday morning.

It is a result of failed pay negotiations with both parties sitting at a stalemate. Union drivers want to be paid the Living Wage which is currently set at $20.55 an hour, more than $4.05 than the minimum wage set by the Government.

The company has instead offered a 1.5 per cent rise.

The now bitter pay dispute has been ongoing for more than 18 months.


Anyone wanting updates on bus movements is asked to check the BUSIT Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BUSITWaikato or the BUSIT website, www.busit.co.nz, or by calling the 24-hour bus infoline on 0800 205 305.