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Wellington rail workers strike to defend their conditions

Wellington rail workers strike to defend their working conditions

Workers employed by Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem on Wellington’s passenger rail network have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking industrial action to defend their terms and conditions of employment.

They will stop work for 24 hours starting from 2am on Thursday 16 November.

“We’ve been trying to negotiate with Transdev and Hyundai since May this year and they’ve stalled every single step of the way,” says Wayne Butson, RMTU advocate for the rail workers.

The two multinational companies are demanding the removal of long-standing terms and conditions in the collective agreement.

“They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington’s rail services. Now they’re trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers,” says Wayne Butson. “Strike action is the only avenue our members have to get the boss to sit down and be reasonable.

“We all regret the disruption this will cause for Wellington commuters, and we encourage them to ask the regional council, and their Mayors, some hard questions about why big international companies are being allowed to run down good Wellington jobs.”

This will be the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail system for longer than two hours.

“The people who go to work every day making our rail network run won’t give up their employment conditions so the boss can make more money,” says Wayne Butson. “And they will continue to take the action until we get Transdev and Hyundai to understand that multinationals can’t bully Kiwi workers.”

ENDS

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