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Union Concerned For Rail Industry In NZ

THURSDAY 13 DECEMBER 2001

“Rail & Maritime Transport Union Concerned For Rail Industry In NZ”

“Tranz Rail’s announcement that it has selected Transfield and Alstom as the preferred bidders for it’s Infrastructure and Motive Power businesses is a further blow to the “Take Back The Track” campaign to retain rail in NZ as a strategic national asset” says the Union’s General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“More of NZ’s national rail asset will be either closed or sold off with the cash from the sales now being repatriated to France and Australia as well as the usual USA under the model being pursued by Tranz Rail”.

“The RMTU is totally opposed to the break-up of the single vertically integrated railway as this will cause operators to focus on the Auckland – Christchurch route in the pursuit of fast easy profits with the regions losing out.”

“The Union presented a 45000 signature petition to Parliament seeking the Government to “Take Back The Track” in the interests of NZ”

“The Union is concerned that the on-going ability to improve safety, as has happened in Tranz Rail over the last 12 months, will be compromised with more companies engaged in their own private battles to improve their personal profitability by doing the same or more with less”.

“The Union has and will continue to engage with all of Tranz Rail’s out-sourcing partners in the interest of protecting our members terms and conditions of employment”, said Wayne Butson

He went on to say “Many of our members have given their best working years to rail through thick and thin and a transfer of ownership should not be a barrier to completing their working lives in rail – whoever owns it.”

“We have agreed terms of employment with earlier outsourcing partners and look forward to positive negotiations with Transfield and Alstoms but if we need to have a fight to retain the conditions and rights of members then the RMTU will deliver”.

Ends

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