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Rail & Maritime Transport Union Plans For Future

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
MONDAY 15 OCTOBER 2001

“Rail & Maritime Transport Union Plans For Future”

Around 60 of the Unions delegates and leaders from throughout NZ are gathered at Porirua’s Police College for the RMTU’s Annual Conference beginning today.

The Union’s General Secretary Wayne Butson told delegates today that the RMTU has much to celebrate over the last 12 months and more challenges to prepare for in the coming 12 months.

Wayne Butson said “ The RMTU in partnership with Tranz Rail Ltd has completely reshaped the health and safety framework within rail during the last year and this is showing in the decline in all health and safety indicator statistics.”

“It is too early to pop out the champagne but nevertheless the results are encouraging, he said.”

Mr Butson went on to say “All of the conference delegates and Union leaders will join with other Union members and members of the wider community all of whom have embraced the RMTU campaign calling for the return the rail infrastructure back into public ownership and control on Wednesday 17 October at 1.45pm.”

“The Take Back The Track petition has been endorsed by the public of NZ in large numbers and shows that the Union’s campaign has struck a chord with the heartland of NZ.”

“The rail infrastructure network is as essential to New Zealand’s national interest as the roading network is and should return into public ownership and a large number of NZ’s citizens agree”, said Mr Butson.

“We are daily seeing new evidence of the folly of the privatisation of state assets and a return of the rail asset into public control will ensure that we have a lasting, sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to road transport”, said Mr Butson.

“The people have said they want rail transport to remain and the majority of people I spoke to whilst gathering petition signatures certainly wanted less trucking on the road and were appalled at the possibility of getting longer, bigger and heavier trucks travelling on our nations highways as an alternative to rail.” he said.

“We hope Wellington will support our handing of the petition to Government by attending the ceremony in large numbers. ” said Mr Butson.

For further information please contact: Wayne Butson

04 473-6693 work 025 962-461 cellphone 04 570-2772 home


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