Wellington Scoop

Truck drivers on strike – fed up with 70-hour weeks

News from First Union
The union representing the country’s truck drivers says low wages are forcing some truck drivers to clock working weeks up to 70 hours long.

“Everyone is entitled to a wage they can live on and no one should have to work up to 70 hours a week to earn it, especially in the lead-up to Christmas,” said FIRST Union spokesperson Richie Morris.

Wellington-based Morris is representing striking truck drivers and store workers at The Car Distribution Group.

Approximately 50 truck drivers and store workers in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch are striking for 24 hours from this morning after the Car Distribution Group’s subsidiaries – Car Haulaways and Auckland Vehicle Deliveries – refused to offer pay parity between the two subsidiaries and lift wages to meet industry standards.

“Drivers and store workers at Car Haulaways aren’t only earning less than their colleagues from other companies they’re earning less than their mates at their sister company, Auckland Vehicle Deliveries, even though they’re delivering the same cars and driving the same trucks out of the same yards,” said Morris.

“It’s ridiculous.”

“Some drivers at Car Haulaways would have to work 50, 60, or 70 hour weeks to earn enough to support themselves and their families.”

“Our drivers and store workers aren’t asking for much. They don’t want the highest wages in the world, they want industry standard wages, and they want pay parity between the two sister companies,” Morris explained.

“Drivers at Car Haulaways and Auckland Vehicle Deliveries do the same job, driving the same trucks from the same yards, and delivering the same cars. Why shouldn’t they earn the same?”


  1. Robyn Harrop, 11. December 2017, 18:53

    How many strikes will this be since Labour become the Govt? Back to the bad old days.

  2. Kelly Raupita, 11. December 2017, 20:36

    I am a yardsman for the car distributions group and it would just be nice if our pay can reflect the work we do out in the yards.
    I feel for the brothers who drive for long periods of time as well as dealing with the stress of other motorists having no consideration. So i will do whatever i can to help them achieve their goals where money should be the least of their worries.

  3. CC, 11. December 2017, 22:29

    Robyn – Last week I had a 7:30pm delivery and the driver had been on the road since 6:00am. At a minimum he was doing 60 hour weeks and had up to two hours travelling time to and from work as he couldn’t afford to live in Wellington with a wife and children to support. Hope when he goes to sleep over the wheel that it is some deserving self-centred idiot who cops it. Seems we are already in the bad old days! Perhaps the odd strike might deliver a more equitable society.

  4. Michael, 11. December 2017, 23:54

    If the report in Stuff in October is to be believed, “New Zealand is short some 2000 truck drivers and at least one recruitment firm is hoping Ireland can help solve the crisis”. So if these drivers have to work 70 hours to make a decent living, perhaps they should be looking elsewhere for a job? Is this a case of one bad employer giving unions an excuse to provoke strike action? Wonder what the going rate is for a truck driver these days.

  5. GillyT, 12. December 2017, 13:24

    @ Robyn Harrop: lazy relativist ‘analysis’ (if any) there. Legislation brought in by the previous National government where employers no longer mandated to negotiate in good faith is the cause.