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


Fake news is no solution to Metlink driver shortage

Rail & Maritime Transport Union

26 February 2019

Wellington train drivers say they are quitting their jobs due to low morale and company mismanagement.

Their union says employer Transdev is spreading fake news about drivers leaving for higher wages at KiwiRail, where pay is the same or very similar for most workers and service progression scales are the same.

Since management of the Metlink rail network was handed over to French multinational Transdev in July 2016, staff say things have gone from bad to worse.

“At times we’ve been almost overwhelmed with complaints,” says Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

“Our members repeatedly tried to warn Transdev about this looming crisis, but they refused to hear it.”

In 2017 and 2018, the company cancelled multiple driver schools, directly contributing to the current crisis.

When new Metlink timetables were introduced in July 2018, frontline staff complained they were not being rostered on in sufficient numbers to ensure safe and efficient operations.

This advice from the coalface was ignored when it reached Transdev Wellington’s offices, in favour of a cost-cutting strategy that prioritised short term profits and bonuses for the company’s overseas shareholders.

“Unfortunately for Wellington commuters, the chickens of mismanagement are coming home to roost,” says Mr Butson.

“There are more who wish to leave Transdev Wellington than KiwiRail has vacancies, and if Australia starts recruiting again the exodus will go from bad to worse.”

Despite the similarity in pay scales, Transdev and KiwiRail have sharply divergent management cultures.

KiwiRail’s commitment to cooperation and engagement with staff allowed a new 2018 collective agreement to be negotiated in hours, with a progressive flat rate increase across all grades.

By contrast, Transdev’s tone deaf approach led to Wellington’s first railway strikes in 20 years.

The RMTU warns that unless Transdev significantly increases training of new drivers and improves its attitude toward the workforce, train drivers and other grades of staff will continue to leave.

“We fear that services will continue to be cancelled, and at worst there may need to be timetable changes to reduce services,” says Mr Butson.

“Wellingtonians pay for and deserve a world class train service. If every dollar of funding went into the operation instead of creating profits for foreign multinationals, they would have it.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Leadership (And The Lack Of It) Looks Like

Leadership is an intangible quality, but most New Zealanders will be thanking their lucky stars for what’s being provided by PM Jacinda Ardern and Ministry of Health Director-General Ashley Bloomfield. On a daily basis, both have been clear and decisive about the rationale for the policies they’re pursuing and - by and large - they’re managing to re-assure the public, and yet prepare them gradually for the bad times and challenges to come...More>>


Police Commissioner: Christchurch Terrorist Pleads Guilty

Police acknowledge the guilty pleas in the Christchurch Mosque attacks prosecution that were entered in the Christchurch High Court today. The guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of engaging in a terrorist ... More>>


Government: Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2

New Zealand has been moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2, Reduce Contact, in an escalation of efforts to reduce the spread of the virus in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today... More>>


COVID-19: Business Response Package

Cabinet today approved the development of a Business Continuity Package to help support the economy through the disruption caused by COVID-19. “New Zealand is well-placed to respond to COVID-19. More>>


Transport: $54 billion Investment In Draft GPS 2021

The Draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) 2021 on land transport confirms that the Government will invest a record $54 billion in its balanced transport policy over the next decade. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones

No doubt, last night’s defeat of abortion law reform provisions that would have created safe zones around abortion clinics will be portrayed, by some, as a victory for free speech. It isn’t. It was a victory for bigotry and intimidation directed ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National's Regulation Crusade

Lets step back in time now, to simpler days and to simple-minded solutions. So…. if National gets elected, landlords will once again be able to evict tenants at will, raise rents anytime they like, and ignore the need to install a healthy standard of heating in the homes they put out to rent. This promised ‘bonfire of regulations’ is being done in the name of cutting red tape... More>>


SMC - Expert Reaction: PF2050 Strategy

DOC has released a strategy to reach Predator Free 2050, along with an action plan through to 2025. The predator-free goal focuses on three groups of mammals: possums, three species of rats, plus stoats, ferrets and weasels... More>>


Land, Air And Sea: Regions To Benefit From NZ Upgrade

Regional New Zealand will be a hive of activity in the coming months as the New Zealand Upgrade Programme delivers on its promise to modernise our infrastructure, prepare for climate change and help grow our economy. As part of the $12 billion ... More>>






InfoPages News Channels