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Auckland Train Strikes: Reduced Timetables, Cancellations Could Last A Month

Auckland trains will run on a reduced timetable this weekend as rail workers strike over workloads.

There could be cancellations across the network in the coming days, Auckland One Rail has warned, and peak-time services would be running at a reduced 20-minute frequency from Saturday.

As part of the action, rail workers have refused to work overtime or work changes to rostered hours after a new collective agreement reached an impasse.

It was possible the action could last a month if an agreement could not be reached, Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Todd Valster said.

"We've been bargaining with [Auckland One Rail] for the last eight months - it expired about eight months ago, and we've been working away trying to reach a compromise, and there's been a couple of major issues that we haven't been able to get past."

Disputes included removing a clause guaranteeing train drivers the majority of their weekends off, and what Valster described as a lack of trust to resolve workload issues for three major work groups.

"The company want to resolve them during the term of the agreement, and there is absolutely no trust that that will occur."

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The relationship had deteriorated, Valster said.

"This is definitely not what good looks like. The last time I put in strike notices for collective negotiations was well over 20 years ago, so I know how relationships can be built up, and there is a fairly poor relationship between the Rail and Maritime Transport Union and Auckland One Rail."

Auckland One Rail cheif executive Martin Kearney said he was "disappointed" by the strike action.

"We're disappointed that, while we felt we were near agreement, negotiations have broken down and resulted in the current notice of industrial action which we know will have an impact on our customers," he said in a statement.

Trains for Saturday's Blues vs Fijian Drua game at Eden Park would still be operating, Auckland Transport has said.

Auckland One Rail and the union will go into mediation next week to reach a resolution.

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