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Rail Workers Vote in MECA

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,
THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2005

Rail Workers Vote in MECA

A successful ratification vote by almost 2000 rail workers employed by Toll NZ Consolidated Limited and Connex Auckland heralds the return of a national rail industry multi party collective agreement or MECA to the rail industry. The MECA was lost to rail workers following an Employment Court decision in July 2004.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said “I am delighted to see the rail MECA restored to add strength, unity and protection to our core rail members as part of a good overall settlement.”

“The MECA is for a term of 3 years and sees a general wages increase of 12% during the term with sectors with significant recruitment and retention issues gaining an additional 5%. The term gives the employers stability in terms of costs and industrial harmony and enables them to focus on developing their businesses,” said Wayne Butson.

He went on to say, “The MECA delivers significant gains in workplace delegates rights which recognises the legitimacy of the role of Union delegates, provides reasonable paid time, communication access and protection provisions and expands coverage of the agreement.”

Wayne Butson also said that “The fact that we were able to obtain a good settlement in a reasonably short negotiation timeframe also signals that our relationship with Toll is on the improve and demonstrates the growing understanding of the role and worth of Good Faith bargaining by employers under the Employment Relations Act.

Wayne Butson noted “It would be a terrible tragedy for NZ if we saw a National Led Government elected and the ERA was repealed and we returned to the failed adversarial based Employment Contracts Act industrial relations environment which was also outlaw multi party collective agreements”.

ENDS

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