Voting begins on deal to end Auckland rail dispute
Auckland rail maintenance workers suspended for striking by employer CAF NZ will vote on a deal that could end the dispute.
After weeks of intense bargaining and escalating industrial conflict, a provisional settlement was reached on Wednesday between the Spanish-owned company and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.
“The deal on the table is welcome news both for our members and the traveling public,” says RMTU organiser Rudd Hughes.
“Auckland Transport worked desperately hard to prevent delays, but couldn’t prevent a serious impact being felt throughout our rail network. It’s a relief to see a deal on the table that averts commuter chaos.”
Suspended workers resume duties today, returning to the job both steadfast in their union and looking forward to a more constructive and positive relationship with their employer than in recent times.
The provisional settlement makes major progress toward pay parity between CAF employees and those doing similar work for other employers, and establishes a benchmark for future bargaining and resolution of contentious workplace issues.
“By standing strong together with their mates, these brave workers have proved once again the truth in that old union motto - dare to struggle, dare to win,” says Mr Hughes.
“It’s just a shame it had to come to this. When skilled workers who should be repairing our trains and keeping us safe are picketing outside Britomart Station instead of getting stuck in on the job, you know something’s gone wrong. Lessons must be learnt.”