Auckland buses brought to halt as drivers take strike action

Source: 1News

Tens of thousands of Auckland commuters face major disruption this morning as dozens of bus services are cancelled.

It's estimated 70,000 commuters to be impacted, with several major Auckland roads affected by strike action.

Bus lanes on roads including Mt Eden Rd, Sandringham Rd and Dominion Rd will be empty.

The action follows NZ Bus drivers not collecting passenger fares last week - those bus drivers were over the weekend suspended but a compromise in their ongoing pay dispute hasn't been reached.

First Union members who drive for NZ Bus began offering free passenger fares until Christmas in opposition to what the union deems as poor wages and working conditions. 

This morning they started their strike action outside the Auckland Transport headquarters on Auckland's downtown waterfront. At least 60 drivers have gathered, demanding fair pay and secure hours. 

Protestors are yelling "workers rights are under attack", "we want living wages", "Auckland’s an expensive city" and "come on AT".

First Union's Jared Abbott earlier said everyone wants to find a solution. 

"We’re hoping that negotiations over the coming weeks will be focused on lifting the standards for all Auckland bus drivers and fixing the broken system that put them in this position."

Passengers are advised to check  Auckland Transport's website  to see how they will be impacted today.