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Union says NZ Rail urgently needs investment

26 July 2006
Media Release
Rail and Maritime Union

Union says NZ Rail urgently needs serious investment.

In response to the announcement yesterday that Toll intend to cut the Overlander in September General Secretary Wayne Butson Rail & Maritime Union (RMTU) says now is not the time to be cutting rail services when internationally there is massive investment and rapid growth in rail. Serious investment is urgently needed in rail to make it a more attractive option for NZer's and international holiday makers Butson said.

The Union says the decision made by both Toll and the NZ Government to end the Overlander line is bizarre given the high oil prices and the international campaigns for more environmentally friendly transport and less road congestion. Many Central North Island communities without airports will suffer as a consequence of this decision and there will be no long distance rail service between our largest cities Auckland and Wellington.

Over the past 20 years RMTU members have experienced many redundancies with the slashing and burning of rail services in NZ and new employer Toll is going down the same line. Union Members who operate the Overlander are covered by the RMTU and Toll Collective Employment Agreement.

ENDS

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