The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions today said that people working in Wellington were showing support for safe public transport and fair treatment of train staff. President Richard Wagstaff said that union members affected by the industrial action on Wellington’s rail lines were calling on the multinational companies who bid to run the train services and the Greater Wellington Regional Council to act responsibly and prevent further disruption.
“There are two simple solutions to get Wellington’s transport network back up and running” Mr Wagstaff said. Transdev and Hyundai Rotem can put the needs of families and businesses who rely on our trains ahead of trying to juice extra profit off ratepayers. And Wellington Regional Council can make sure safe staffing levels and decent employment aren’t optional extras for multinational companies looking to make a buck from vital public services.”
“When Transdev and Hyundai Rotem took over these services they agreed to maintain conditions. Now these same companies are trying to force the people working on our rail networks to accept lower pay on weekends, to pay for medical certificates on demand by the employer, to have reduced injury recovery support and to work public holidays without even being asked. Cutting trained staff could compromise safety for commuters, and union members believe safety is paramount. It’s no wonder train staff are taking action to preserve decent jobs and quality train services. The company’s’ undermining of agreed local job conditions isn’t acceptable to the Wellingtonians who pay for the service and ride the trains” he said.