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September 2019
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Welcome to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union Online

The RMTU is a union for transport workers in which all members have equal rights, whatever their job.

With rapid change, and increasing competition in the transport industry it is important that workers are protected by a strong, well-resourced union, specialising in all aspects of the transport industry; rail, road and ports.

The structure of the RMTU gives you the opportunity to be fully involved in a democratic union as collective decisions are made which may affect your job and conditions of employment.

You have the opportunity to elect your workplace union representative (delegate), as well as branch and national union representatives. You have a voice at all levels of the RMTU.

Latest Media Release

Hillside Lives Again: "We never gave up", say rail workers

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 31st October, 2019

Workers in Dunedin and around New Zealand are celebrating news of the government’s almost $20 million investment into Hillside engineering workshop, rescuing the site from years of unnecessary and artificially imposed decline.


KiwiRail’s decision in 2011 to import rail wagons from China rather than build them in South Dunedin dealt a devastating blow to the working class neighbourhood, with 90 jobs lost as the workshop fell comparatively quiet for years on end.


“Not only was it morally repugnant to treat loyal and skilled staff that way, it was economically absurd to a point verging on criminal sabotage,” says Wayne Butson, National Secretary of the Rail & Maritime Transport Union.


“Rail is the future of transport, both economically efficient and environmentally friendly, and our railways are the backbone of this country. What kind of government allows KiwiRail’s taxpayer money to be spent on economic self-harm?”


RMTU members and supporters protested the decision across the country, with pickets, street marches and a petition signed by thousands of New Zealanders.


Persistent lobbying by the union, transport advocates and community groups kept the campaign for green transport and Kiwi jobs alive and politically relevant as the years went by.


The RMTU says support from the Labour-led government for rail transport and domestic industry is bringing hope to regional New Zealand and putting the country’s economy back on track.


“We fought tooth and nail to defend Hillside jobs, and we promised to never give up the fight. There are no words that could adequately describe how happy I am to know the jobs are finally coming back and those workshops will thrive once again,” says Mr Butson.


“Hillside is a place where fathers worked alongside their sons for over a hundred years, building the best rolling stock in the world right here in New Zealand. We never gave up hope it would be that again. Sanity is restored.”




For further information, please contact:


Wayne Butson


General Secretary

Rail & Maritime Transport Union 

Mobile: 027 496 2461

Office: 04 473 6693

John Kerr

South Island Organiser

Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Mobile: 027 246 4941


Click here to download this media release


Click here for more Media Releases




Click on the image above or here to sign the petition

RMTU / KIWIRAIL Health & Safety -

Click here to go to the RMTU / KIWIRAIL H&S page


  Listen to the Your Life for the Job song (mp3 5mb) -

written and performed by Ben Thompson - click here

Order A copy of "Your life for the job" book - click here to email

The New Zealand Locomotive Engineer's
Sickness, Accident and Death Benefit Fund:

A new advertisement for the LE SAD Fund that can be downloaded, printed and posted on noticeboards for LE's Click here to download the poster and Download application form



Save Our Rail : Northland

Kia ora to everyone in the Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Just to let you know, Save Our Rail Northland's new web-site is: http://www.saveourrailnorthland.org.nz
We'll be adding to the site as things develop, so keep checking in to see where we're at.

Alan Preston
Tel (09)4315389


Save the Gisborne Napier Rail Line



Books & DVD's of Interest


A commemoration of the 1908 miners’ strike on DVD

Review by Dean Parker - click here

To purchase a copy - click here


Samuel Duncan Parnell - A Legacy

The 8 Hour Day, Labour Day and Time Off

For more information including Foreward by Helen Kelly - click here





ITF- Affiliated to the International Transport Workers Federation which comprises 653 unions representing 4,500,000 transport workers in 148 countries
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