Over the years, there have been several bus driver strikes, especially in Auckland where there are 13,000 bus services operating. Drivers were striking because they needed to have scheduled breaks, but were not getting them. Because the bus industry is so competitive, it has been difficult for bus drivers to negotiate fair working conditions.
Today a new law has come into effect which protects the working conditions of bus drivers. Now, bus drivers must get a 10-minute break every two hours, and a 30-minute break every four hours.
Bus companies were not very happy about it, and Auckland transport says that it has to cancel forty bus services as a result. However, this is an important improvement for bus drivers, who were working without breaks.
Bus companies do not have to implement the new break schedule for twelve months. This one year to prepare is called a grace period. They should do their best to follow the law, but it won’t be strongly enforced until next year.
strike: when workers stop working in order to fight for different working conditions
competitive: when an industry is competitive, it means there are many different businesses trying to make money from the same market. This results in low profit.
negotiate: try to reach an agreement with someone
implement: do a plan
enforce: make someone do a plan