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


Auckland rail workers ballot to strike for fair pay

7 February 2019

Frustrated Auckland railway workers say stalled pay negotiations have reached the end of the line, and are set to vote on strike action today.

Members of the Rail & Maritime Transport Union are in bargaining with French multi-national Transdev, contracted by Auckland Transport to run the city’s passenger train service.

“Transdev and Auckland Transport refuse to consider our point of view, it’s like they have tunnel vision,” says RMTU organiser Rudd Hughes.

“We live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and work hard to provide an essential public service, so a fair pay increase isn’t too much to ask.”

Workers say they are surprised by the company’s heavy handed approach, despite limiting claims to a modest 3% for the first year, followed by a 1.5% increase for the following six months.

Faced with increasing pressure to spend weekends away from their family, train drivers have also requested an hourly allowance to work unsociable hours.

The Transdev workforce have increased productivity levels by 9%, a particularly impressive figure considering it is estimated New Zealand’s overall productivity levels fell by 0.7% in 2018.

The French company reports global revenue of $11 billion NZ, with a 15% increase in profits on the previous year.

Transdev Auckland has enthusiastically done its part to keep these profits on track, paying out an 8.5% dividend to overseas shareholders in Transdev Australasia.

“When skilled and dedicated employees propose a reasonable pay increase, Transdev are suddenly hesitant to spend public money,” Mr Hughes says.

“It didn’t seem to bother them when they were transferring public money into offshore bank accounts.”

The 2018 pay agreement between the RMTU and KiwiRail was successfully negotiated in a matter of hours, with some workers receiving pay rises of over 6.9%.

The union says it is disappointed Transdev have not yet come to the bargaining table with a similarly constructive attitude.

With Auckland petrol prices up by 17% in 2018 and polls indicating 70% of working people feel their incomes have not kept up with the cost of living, RMTU members are determined to stick together and ensure none fall behind.

“Our members don’t want to strike, but the company has left them no other choice than to consider it,” says Mr Hughes.

“Unfortunately it seems Transdev care more about their profits than they do about the travelling public.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>


89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>


Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>


Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>





InfoPages News Channels