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19 Mar 2018 10:12
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  •   Home > News > Business

    Strike on Wellington commuter rail network

    Wellington's commuter trains won't be running on Thursday because more than 400 workers are going on strike, affecting 30,000 commuters.

    About 30,000 people who travel each day on Wellington trains will be out of luck on Thursday when more than 400 workers go on strike.

    There will be no train services, and at this point in time, there will be no bus replacements either, Metlink says.

    Workers employed by Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem on Wellington's passenger rail network have voted overwhelmingly in favour of stopping work for 24 hours from 2am on Thursday, the Rail and Maritime Union says.

    Secretary Wayne Butson said it was the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail system for longer than two hours.

    "We've been trying to negotiate with Transdev and Hyundai since May this year and they've stalled every single step of the way," he says.

    Metlink said train commuters should make alternative transport arrangements or consider not travelling at all.

    Parents and caregivers should re-evaluate their plans if their children cannot get to school during strike action.

    Students sitting exams need to factor train cancellations and road congestion into their travel plans - as should people travelling to Wellington Hospital or Wellington airport.

    On a regular weekday in Wellington more than 30,000 plus passenger journeys are by train.

    "With short notice we are not able to source enough buses to transport this number of passengers," Metlink says.

    The RMTU says companies are trying to remove 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 Mr Butson.

    "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."

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