Wellington Scoop

Rail workers want to keep weekend rates and allowances

News from RMTU
Wellington rail workers have again voted to take strike action as their employers refuse to deal with them fairly in bargaining a collective agreement. The industrial action will take place from 2am until 11:59pm on Friday.

“Despite going into mediated bargaining, there’s been no meaningful change from Transdev and Hyundai,” says Wayne Butson, RMTU advocate for the rail workers. “They’re not budging on clawing back long-standing provisions like overtime for working weekends and industry-standard allowances for tools and specialist technical work – contrary to what they’re telling the public.

“This is unacceptable to the people who go to work every day to make Wellington’s rail network run. So they’re taking the only action they can.”

Rail workers went on strike two weeks ago to send a signal to their employers, multinational companies Transdev and Hyundai Rotem, that they needed to stop being obstructive and take the negotiations seriously. Until then, it had been more than 20 years since the last time an industrial dispute affected the Wellington rail system for longer than two hours.

“We’ve seen tremendous support from our Wellington community,” says Wayne Butson. “Once again, rail workers regret the issues this causes commuters. But we know they understand it’s not good enough for our councils and mayors to contract out important public services to multinational companies who want to make a profit by squeezing down on ordinary Kiwi workers.

“We would be happy to accept Transdev’s offer of a 2% pay rise over a 12-month term if current terms and conditions are rolled over – that means not taking away weekend rates and allowances.

“The ball is in Transdev and Hyundai’s court. They can either come back to the table with a reasonable offer and a more constructive attitude, or they can bear the responsibility for continuing disruption to Wellington’s rail services leading up to Christmas.”

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url