Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Rail Union to Ballot on Industrial Action Over Safety

Rail Union to Ballot on Industrial Action Over Safety


The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU), which represents Locomotive Engineers and on board crews on Auckland’s passenger rail network is to ballot members on industrial action after talks with French owned multi-national Transdev broke down yesterday.

‘’The RMTU has been in collective bargaining with Transdev since May this year and this week we reached the end of the line,” said RMTU Organiser John Kerr.

“The sticking point is the push by Auckland Transport and Transdev to move to driver only operation on the trains if the New Zealand Transport Authority approves their Safety Case variation,’’ he said.

“Our position is clear, trains are currently crewed by Locomotive Engineers and train managers and removing the latter from the train severely compromises passenger and public safety,” he said.

“Contrary to what some of the bureaucrats at Auckland Transport think, train managers do far more than just walk up and down a train; they are first responders in the event of medical emergencies; they ensure all passengers including the disabled can safely access the network; they are there to assist passengers in the event of level crossing and other track and infrastructure incidents that might require safe passenger evacuation; they act as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour on trains. Most importantly each and every train is crewed by a train manager and therefore the travelling public know that when they travel by rail a trained, safety-critical, uniformed member of staff is never far away,’’ he said.

“Auckland Transport and Transdev want to do away with permanent on board train crew and our members are saying no, that’s not safe,’’ he said.

“We’ve tried negotiating a deal whereby the on-board train crew like train managers and ticket inspectors will stay aboard the trains during the term of a new collective agreement and we’ve met a flat no,’’ he said.

“Transdev have offered more money to locomotive engineers to accept the removal of the on-board crew from the trains and the message we’re getting from the LE’s is that they don’t want to be solely responsible for hundreds of passengers on a train at the same time as doing the safety-critical job of driving the vehicle,’’ he said. “How do you look out the window to operate the train in accordance with signals and safely and at the same time closely monitor the in train camera’s to ensure passenger safety and security” our LE members ask?

“Given negotiations have now broken down we have no option but to ballot our members so we can fight for safety and get the message through to Transdev and to Auckland Transport, ‘’ he said.

“We don’t want to inconvenience the public but there is no compromise over safety. We will be balloting on a number of options including overtime bans and withdrawals of labour across a range of dates, ‘’ he said.

“We hope it doesn’t come to stopping the trains but the ball is very much in Transdev and Auckland Transport’s court, they’ve caused this dispute and they know what it will take to resolve it. The ballot will take two weeks.’’ he said.

“Tomorrow our members will join with FIRST and the Tramways unions, who represent the bus drivers, at a protest to deliver a petition signed by thousands of members of the public to Auckland Transport,’’ he said.

“Hopefully they will get the message and together with Transdev we can resolve the issue,’’ he said. This is a first as the Auckland rail system has never been disrupted by industrial action and to have the possibility of it happening now over a safety matter is sad.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Brexit & Huawei Clusterfudges

Come December 2019, the West’s social democracies could be gone through quite a few changes at the top.

British PM Theresa May might not even make it through to the New Year. In a year’s time Angela Merkel’s shaky coalition will have probably collapsed, and another German election will have been fought by the newly chosen leader of Merkel’s party... More>>

 

Joint Select Committee Report: Achieving Smokefree 2025

In a historic first for select committees, the Māori Affairs Committee and the Health Committee presented their joint report on achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal to the House on Tuesday, 11 December 2018. More>>

"Shared Interests And Democratic Values": Peters To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. for talks with US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and other senior members of the US Administration. More>>

Science Advisors: Stopping Family Violence – The Evidence

A new report “Every 4 minutes: A discussion paper on preventing family violence in New Zealand” by Justice sector Chief Science Advisor, Dr Ian Lambie, discusses the evidence and asks us, as a community, to get involved. More>>

ALSO:

Misuse Of Drugs Act: Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Passes

“Ultimately, this legislation will greatly increase availability of quality medicinal cannabis products, and will allow for their domestic manufacture. It will help people ease their suffering by making a wider range of quality medicinal cannabis products available over time." More>>

ALSO:

Conflicts, Inadequacies: IPCA Finds Police Investigation Flawed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police investigation into inappropriate contact between a teacher and a student in Gisborne in 2014 was deficient in several respects. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference Multimedia: Grace Millane, ACC Levy Hold, Absent Execs

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern began her Monday post-cabinet press conference with an emotional comment on the murder of English backpacker Grace Millane. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty Monitor: Food Poverty Due To Inadequate Income, Housing Cost

The latest Child Poverty Monitor released today by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner reveals alarming facts about children suffering the impacts of family income inadequacy, says Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG). More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels