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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.

RMTU Health & Safety -

Covid Response


Click here to go to the Ports Fatigue Risk Management Guidelines (draft)

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


Latest Media Releases


Strike notices announced for national rail stoppage

Rail and Maritime Transport Union Media Release


Tuesday 23rd November, 2021


Strike action by rail workers is set to paralyse KiwiRail operations next month, affecting both rail and ferry transport.


Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says the Union has served KiwiRail two separate strike notices at the same time this morning.


A one day strike will be held by South Island union members on Thursday 16 December from 0001 hours to 2359 hours.


A one day strike will be held by North Island union members on Friday 17 December from 0001 hours to 2359 hours.


As train control functions are located in the North Island, this will halt operations in both islands on Friday 17 December.


The strike action will affect all rail operations in New Zealand including the rail ferries and Auckland and Wellington Metro systems.


A recent nationwide postal ballot of KiwiRail workers saw an overwhelming majority vote for strike action to pursue a general wage increase of 8%, after a zero increase in 2020.


This will be the first full national stoppage of the rail system in New Zealand since 1994, says Mr Butson.


He says rail workers are essential workers who played their part in keeping New Zealand rolling through the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.


The strike notices were an indication of the depth of feeling amongst the workforce, he says.


Mr Butson says KiwiRail senior management received huge bonuses in the 2020/2021 financial year.


He says workers should share the rewards for the huge tonnages moved during lockdown.


“Rail workers are very aware of the importance of their work to New Zealand’s transport needs, and have taken this action because there has not been an acceptable offer forthcoming from management.”


He says the workers claim for a pay rise is a “catch up” and would cover rapidly rising living costs over the last two years.


Mr Butson says the claim for an 8% increase would provide a flat rate universal increase for all members, with an 8% increase being applied to the gross payroll of all members then distributed equally amongst all members.


He says this would provide a fair and equal universal increase to members pay.


The results of the nationwide postal ballot were 1504 returned ballots with Yes to strike action 1420 (94.41%), No to strike action 81 (5.39%) and Invalid 3 (0.2%).


For more information contact Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson on 0274 962461


Click here to download this media release


Timaru Port Workers Vote to Strike

Rail and Maritime Transport Union Media Release


Friday 19th November 2021


The results of a secret ballot of Port of Timaru workers saw an overwhelming majority vote for strike action to pursue a general wage increase of 8%. 94% of workers voting supported industrial action.


Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) South Island Organiser John Kerr says the decision was not taken lightly, but was a reflection of the strongly held views of port workers.


‘The vote provides a mandate for strike action anytime from 7th -24th December. The RMTU has been in negotiations for a Multi-Employer Collective Agreement (MECA) with Prime Port Timaru and Quality Marshalling since May and the employers have made it clear they would prefer not to enter into a MECA and have only offered below inflation adjustments to pay.’


‘These workers have kept good moving across the wharves throughout the pandemic, and as essential workers they want to see recognition of their service.’


He says rising living costs are reflected in the latest inflation measures, and in the continuing rise in housing and accommodation costs.


Mr Kerr says an 8% increase to members pay is not unreasonable in such circumstances.


‘Members are hopeful that the vote will send a signal to their employers and act as a catalyst for meaningful negotiation. We have told the employers we are available for talks anytime next week.




For more information, contact


John Kerr

South Island Organiser

Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU)



Click here to download this media release



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Or contact: - Debby Green 04 473-8439 and debby.green@rmtunion.org.nz


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