Arriva drivers have been directed to stop working at 8pm today by their union, but the government is insisting that such industrial action is now illegal. The Transport Ministry says that public transport has been redefined as an essential service – akin to healthcare and the police. The redefinition limits the industrial actions that can be done: a basic service has to be maintained at all times, regardless of any industrial disputes. The ministry said that it would not tolerate the a reduction in the frequency of scheduled services by more than half while industrial action is taking place.
The General Workers’ Union has announced the action over drivers’ working schedules, stating that the existing “long and inhuman” rosters remained unchanged despite its numerous attempts to resolve the matter.