RMTU Calendar:
July 2017
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Media Releases

Rail Union to Demonstrate for Safe Trains in Auckland

Media Advisory Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 26th September, 2017

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU), representing workers who operate Auckland’s commuter trains, is organising a demonstration at Britomart tomorrow in support of keeping permanent on-board Train Managers on passenger trains operated on behalf of Auckland Transport by French owned multi-national Transdev.

The demonstration will begin at 11.30 a.m. and will feature speakers from Auckland City Council, and disability and women’s groups.

Members of the public who support keeping a permanent on-board train manager on Auckland trains are warmly invited to participate.

ENDS

For more information contact:

John Kerr RMTU Organiser 027 246 4941

Union Welcomes Investigation into Graffiti Attack on Train

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 20th September, 2017

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) welcomes yesterday’s announcement by the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TIAC) of the opening of an enquiry into the attack on an Auckland passenger train by a graffiti gang at the weekend.

‘’The RMTU represents drivers and on-board crews that staff Auckland passenger trains and we are very concerned at what happened to this train last weekend,” said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click here for full media release

Rail union slams Auckland rail operator's “Profit before people” attitude

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 16th August, 2017

The union representing Auckland train crews is slamming the company running Auckland commuter trains, the French-owned Transdev, for excluding workers from a critical safety audit on the basis its health and safety system is “commercially sensitive.”

 

“Transdev wrote to us yesterday saying that worker representatives would be stopped from fully participating in an safety audit being done by the regulator, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), as the company’s health and safety management system has so-called commercially sensitive information that only certain staff can have access to,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click here for full media release

Rail Workers call out Transport Minister's hypocrisy over electric vehicles

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 11th January, 2017

The union representing working people in New Zealand’s railways says Transport Minister Simon Bridges is acting like a hypocrite for touting the benefits of electric cars while allowing KiwiRail to ditch electric locomotives.

“There’s some incredible irony in this. While Bridges is ditching his diesel vehicle for an electric one, he’s overseeing KiwiRail’s move from electric locomotives to diesel ones,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click here for full media release

Train Drivers Condemn KiwiRails Return to "Dirty Diesels"

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 21st December 2016

The union representing the country’s rail workers is condemning KiwiRail’s decision to replace the current electric locomotive fleet on the North Island Main Trunk Line with an overseas-made diesel locomotive fleet.

“KiwiRail shouldn’t cut corners. No one wants to return to outdated diesel locomotives,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click here for full media release

Rail Union and Dunedin Railways Reach Agreement

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union and Dunedin Railways

Friday 18th November 2016

Dunedin Railways and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) have concluded negotiations today with a ratified collective employment agreement.

“Our members unanimously ratified the draft collective agreement this morning,’” said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Dunedin Railway Workers Issue Notice of Strike Action

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 10th November 2016

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) have today issued notice of strike action at Dunedin Railways, formerly known as Taieri Gorge Railway.

‘Our members have been in pay talks with Dunedin Railways since July and today we have issued notice of the first full 24 hour withdrawal of labour on 25 November,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail expected to announce fate of electric locomotive on September 19

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 14th September, 2016

The union representing working people at KiwiRail is urging the state-owned enterprise to reject “dirty diesel” and re-invest in its electric locomotive fleet on the North Island Main Trunk line.

“We’re expecting KiwiRail to announce the fate of its electric locomotives on September 19,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Auckland Rail Operator fails safety test - Union

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 17th March, 2016

The rail workers union is calling on Transdev, the company that runs train services on Auckland’s metro lines, to put safety first after a fatal shooting at Papakura Station last week.

“Our members are feeling shaken after the fatal shooting at Papakura Station on Saturday,” says Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) Northern Region Organiser Stuart Johnstone. 

Click Here for Full Media Release

Rail Union Mounts Picket over Health & Safety Concern at Dunedin Railways

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 8th March, 2016

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is today mounting a picket at Dunedin Railway Station in protest at the continuing persecution and intimidation of one of its members for raising a genuine concern over health and safety.

“Dunedin Railways is wholly owned by Dunedin City Council and runs passenger excursions on the mainline as well as up the Taieri Gorge, so you’d think that health and safety would be an absolute priority“ said  RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Rail and Maritime Workers' Union Condemn TPPA signing

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 4th February, 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) puts the rights and wellbeing of working people at risk, says Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“The TPPA will make it harder to protect local jobs and lift wages.”

“Under the TPPA it’s going to become harder and harder for government to govern in the national interest. Clauses the ‘performance requirements’ in the TPPA could prevent the government from favouring local workers over foreign contractors,” says Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Rail Workers' Union Condemns 'Managed decline' of Rail Network

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 26th January, 2016

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is concerned that KiwiRail is so strapped for cash that some lines are in a state of ‘managed decline’ at a time when the road transport lobby is demanding more and bigger trucks on our roads.

‘Today we heard that a number of lines like the Stillwater-Ngakawau, the Napier line and the Northland line are only being maintained to a standard that KiwiRail acknowledges will result in deterioration,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Rail Workers' Union Condemns Rail Privitisation in Wellington

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 17th December, 2015

 

The rail workers’ union is condemning the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s (GWRC) decision to privatise Wellington’s metro rail services, says RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“We’re saddened to see the GWRC opt for privatisation.”

GWRC has selected Transdev Australasia in association with Hyundai Rotem as the preferred future operator for Wellington’s metro rail service.

Click Here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail Exploitation Case heads to Court

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 26th August, 2015

Rail workers’ union takes test case to determine the employment status of Chinese engineers working under warranty to remove asbestos from KiwiRail’s imported locomotives

Allegations of exploitation emerged in 2014, including allegations of minimum wage and holiday entitlement breaches

MBIE concluded New Zealand laws probably don’t apply to the China-based engineers, but the Workplace Relations Minister told media the only way to confirm the legal position is in the courts.

The RMTU is heading to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) to determine whether Chinese engineers who are removing asbestos from KiwiRail locomotives are covered under New Zealand employment law, announces RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

 

Business 'appalled' with Government's treatment of KiwiRail

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 30th July, 2015

The rail workers’ union is backing calls from Mainfreight chairman Bruce Plested for “more positive support for long-term rail infrastructure”, says Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“Earlier this month Treasury documents revealed that the government had received advice to downsize or shut down KiwiRail.”

Click Here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail must upgrade its Electric Fleet

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 1st July , 2015

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is voicing its support for demonstrators who are rallying at the Cenotaph steps outside of Parliament calling for KiwiRail to reinvest in an electric fleet says RMTU organiser Todd Valster.

“KiwiRail is currently considering downgrading its electric fleet on the North Island Main Trunk Line to a diesel-powered fleet.”

Click Here for Full Media Release

Port union welcomes LPC guilty plea over worker’s death

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 18 June, 2015

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is pleased Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) has pleaded guilty to charges laid by Worksafe over the death of port worker Brad Fletcher in August 2014.

Mr Fletcher, who was president of the local branch of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, worked as a maintenance fitter. He died on the job after the collapse of a scissor lift

“It’s good that LPC is taking responsibility for what happened,” says RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson, “it means the family and friends of Brad aren’t being dragged through a distressing legal case.”

Click Here for Full Media Release

RMTU takes KiwiRail to Court

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 2nd June , 2015

After a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) investigation found that Chinese engineers working on KiwiRail’s imported locomotives at the Hutt Workshops were probably not covered under New Zealand employment law, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) will now test that finding in the courts says RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.  

 

“The RMTU has filed proceedings in the Employment Relations Authority. We are seeking clarity on the status of the Chinese engineers who were contracted to work on KiwiRail’s locomotives. We are also seeking clarification on whether KiwiRail has breached our collective employment agreement with them”.

Last year Trevor Mallard revealed allegations of exploitation of Chinese engineers working under warranty on KiwiRail’s imported locomotives. MBIE found that the allegations could not be substantiated, but the investigators did not view wage records before coming to their conclusions.

“After the government refused to seek a clear answer on the status of the Chinese engineers it has been left to the RMTU to clarify the law”.

“Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse said that this legal question is ‘something that one can test in the courts’ and the RMTU is taking him up on that offer. We will not let this injustice remain unresolved”.

The RMTU has filed in the Employment Relations Authority with an Application for Removal to the Employment Court given the seriousness of the issues.

For comment contact RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson:  027 496 2461

 

Click Here for Full Media Release

RMTU may take test case if MBIE Doesn't

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday, 29th April , 2015

The government must seek a definitive answer on whether Chinese engineers working on KiwiRail’s locomotives are covered under New Zealand employment law says Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse must do more than seek a general answer. Allegations of exploitation demand more than a shrug of the shoulders and tentative legal advice”

Click Here for Fulll Media Release

Rail and Maritime Transport Workers Call for Asbestos Ban

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday, 28th April , 2015

Workers’ Memorial Day is the perfect time to consider an asbestos ban says Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson. 

“The RMTU and its members are joining unions around the world to remember and mourn those who have lost their lives in the workplace”.

April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day.

“The RMTU and its members are committed to removing hazardous substances from the workplace and we are calling on the government to make a similar commitment” says Wayne Butson.

“Our theme for this year’s memorial day is an asbestos ban”.

Click Here for the Full Media Release

Click Here or on the image to go to the Greens Campaign - Don't Ditch Our Electric Trains

Green MP Julie Anne Genter and a 14m-long moving billboard rally to save our electric locomotives

What: Green MP Julie Anne Genter is leading a rally to draw attention to KiwiRail’s proposed downgrade from electric to diesel locomotives – a move that will risk jobs and increase pollution

When: Wednesday 22 April 2015 at 8:00am

Where: KiwiRail Auckland Office, Cnr Parnell Rise and Stanley Street

Who: Julie Anne Genter, Vice President of the Rail and Maritime Union Howard Phillips, representatives from Generation Zero and a 14m-long moving billboard of a an electric train

 

Click Here for Full Media Advisory

KiwiRail Can't Outsource Responsiblity

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday, 17 April, 2015

The government must guarantee New Zealanders that Chinese engineers working on KiwiRail’s locomotives are at least receiving the minimum wage says Rail and Maritime Transport Union spokesperson Todd Valster.

Click Here for Full Media Release

 

Government closes door on local businesses

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday, 26 th March, 2015

New Zealanders will not get a say on the government’s decision to ratify an international agreement which removes the right to protect local jobs, says Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision” says Mr Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Lyttelton Port workers vote to escalate dispute and withdraw labour

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday January 27th, 2015

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action.

Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port.

“Our members have voted to escalate their campaign for a just and fair collective agreement and this afternoon, and we have issued notice of the first full 24 hour withdrawal of labour from midday on 11 February,” said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Lyttelton Port Should negotiate not litigate

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday December 18th, 2014

Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) should negotiate and not litigate, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) after the port failed to injunct workers who walked off the job on grounds of health and safety on Friday night.

 

“Workers at LPC walked off the job on Friday night after management failed to properly staff safety critical maintenance jobs during an overtime ban being run by our union,” said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

 

Click Here for Full Media Release

Mediation between Lyttelton Port and Union fails

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday December 18th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.

“There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the overtime ban continues”, said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

“Management seemed more pre-occupied with the impact of the ban rather than seeking ways to resolve the issues that led to it,” said John Kerr.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Lyttelton Port Workers begin overtime ban

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday December 17th, 2014

Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

 

The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port today after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) and the union failed to make headway.

 

“Our members have already voted for multiple full stoppages at the port, however we see industrial action as a last resort so we’ve limited ourselves to the overtime ban at this stage”, said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday December 15th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on Saturday night stopped services at Britomart Station and frightened staff and passengers at other stations.

The violence followed the annual ‘Christmas in the Park’ event. At around 10pm dozens of brawling youths brought Auckland’s Britomart station to a standstill, throwing rocks and other objects at each other and clambering across turnstiles as security guards and Maori wardens struggled to get control of the situation. Even police were shocked at the intensity of the situation, and passengers were left stunned.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Industrial action at lyttelton port looks inevitable as mediation fails

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday December 11th, 2014

It is highly likely industrial action at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) will start on 17 December with an indefinite overtime ban after mediated talks between the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and the port company failed to reach agreement today.

 

‘A couple of weeks ago the RMTU issued notice of an indefinite overtime ban at the port commencing on 17 December, today we met with the port company in a mediation meeting  provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and we failed to reach agreement. That means the overtime ban will go ahead unless something happens before next week,’ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

Click here for full media release

Auckland Move for KiwiRail Health and Safety team questioned

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday October 16th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland.

“The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a potentially dangerous industry and the Zero Harm team plays a vital role,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary, Rail & Maritime Transport Union.

Click here for full media release

Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise

Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday October 1st, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory.

‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on the waterfront in the last twelve months, and that fact alone should mean the man running the company isn’t rewarded to this extent,’ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

Click here for full media release

Lyttelton Port Fatality

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Friday August 29th, 2014

 

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union has expressed its sympathy and solidarity with the friends and loved ones of a Port worker who has died on the job.

 

Wayne Butson, General Secretary, Rail & Maritime Transport Union said that the union was shocked to hear of the loss of life yesterday of Maritime Union Branch President Brad Fletcher at the Port of Lyttelton.

Click Here for the Full Media Release

Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome says Rail Union

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Thursday August 21st, 2014

Labour leader David Cunliffe’s  announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

‘Since the workshops were shut down in late December 2012 as a consequence of the National Government’s failure to buy rolling stock manufactured in New Zealand, a small heavy lift locomotive maintenance operation employing fewer than a dozen workers has been the only activity at the once bustling Hillside plant,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for the Full Media Release

Alleged Exploitation of Chinese Workers Latest Chapter in Botched Procurement of Rail Rolling Stock

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Thursday August 14th, 2014

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MOBIE) must investigate allegations of exploitation of Chinese workers at KiwiRail’s Hutt Railway Workshops says the union that represents rail workers.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) today added its voice to calls on MOBIE to investigate allegations by Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard that Chinese workers doing warranty repairs on asbestos contaminated locomotives are being paid as little as $3.00 per hour.

‘This is the latest chapter in the sorry tale of procuring rolling stock form overseas,’ said RMTU Acting General Secretary Todd Valster. ‘MOBIE need to move quickly to verify whether there is any substance to these allegations,’ he said .

Click Here for the Full Media Release

Train Staff Safety Initiative Supported

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Friday June 27th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is supporting a roll out of improved safety measures for train operating staff in Auckland.

Transdev and Auckland Transport are commencing a 3 month trial of personal lapel cameras on Ticket Inspectors serving Auckland’s rail network.   

Assaults on rail operating staff and Maori Wardens in recent months had prompted calls for improved safety measures on Auckland’s rail network, and Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said the union supported the trial of personal cameras.

Click Here for the Full Media Release

KiwiRail Safety Audit Missing Vital link

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Sunday May 11th, 2014

Rail workers are stunned with KiwiRail’s decision to block worker representatives from several important sessions of an upcoming rail safety audit.

 KiwiRail’s rail safety audit gets underway in Auckland tomorrow. 

“KiwiRail appear to have learnt little from the Pike River Royal Commission if its approach to inclusive health and safety is anything to go by,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Lyttelton Port Workers Vote to Ratify Wage Deal

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Thursday May 8th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union members working as Logistics Officers at Lyttelton Port have voted in favour of a wage deal reached with management.

 

As part of the deal, the Eleven Logistics Officers, who plan and run the operation of  the loading and unloading of ships, stopped the limited  industrial action that they had been taking  since Friday 2 May, and withdrew notice of a two day strike over the weekend of 17-18 May.

 

RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr said ‘the wage deal struck yesterday in a mediated negotiation delivers a 5.78% wage increase by next January, this comes in two stages – 2.85% backdated to January this year and another 2.85% from 19 January 2014,’

 

‘That means the members will be $50 a week better off straight away, with a bit of back pay as well,  and by early next year their weekly wage will be  $100 higher , ’ he said.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Port Company resorts to bully boy tactics before mediation says union

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Tuesday May 6th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) says Lyttleton Port Company (LPC) is trying to intimidate port and rail workers ahead of tomorrow’s mediation to try and settle the continuing industrial dispute at the port.

 Eleven of LPC’s Logistics Officers, who plan and run the operation of  the loading and unloading of ships, have been taking limited industrial action since last Friday and are saying they will stop work for two days from 17 May.

 ‘This afternoon we received a threatening letter from the Port’s lawyers saying they had heard we were considering pickets if tomorrow’s mediation is unsuccessful and if we mounted pickets that “interfere with the company’s employment agreement and operations” -whatever that might mean- then they will apply to the courts for an injunction and also sue us for damages,’ said John Kerr, RMTU South Island Organiser. 

Click Here for Full Media Release

Rail workers vow to support lyttelton port staff as fresh strike notice issued

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Friday May 2nd, 2014

A meeting of the Canterbury Rail Branch of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) unanimously voted yesterday to support striking Lyttelton Port workers using ‘any means necessary’.

 Strike action commences at 2300 tonight when Logistics Officers (LOs) who work for Lyttelton Port Company walk off the job until 0700. Thereafter the action will be repeated every night and during the day the LOs will observe all breaks. The action will result in delays and backlogs at the port. This morning the RMTU has issued a further strike notice that there will be a total withdrawal of labour around the clock during the weekend of 17-18 May. 

‘Our rail members have said they will back the port workers,’ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr, ‘they have a proud tradition of  not crossing picket lines and they are not about to break that now.’

Click Here for Full Media Release

Lyttelton Port workers vote to extend strike action

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Wednesday April 30th, 2014

Lyttelton Port staff who work as Logistics Officers voted unanimously yesterday to extend strike action, due to commence on Friday, into a series of multiple rolling stoppages over coming weeks says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union

 

‘From Friday they will commence industrial action that will result in delays and backlogs building up at the port, by taking all their breaks and not working between 2300 and 0700. That action will be continuous, ’ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Industrial Action Imminent at Lyttelton Port as mediation fails

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Monday April 28th, 2014

The failure of mediation today between the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) managment means that industrial action is imminent Lyttelton port.

'Our members who work as Logistics Officers at LPC have been negotiating for a pay increase since before Christmas, and today their patience ran out. From Friday they will commence industrial action that will result in delays and backlogs buildinmg up at the port,' said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr

Click Here for Full Media Release

tougher approach needed for safety of rail staff

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Wednesday April 16th, 2014

Assualts on rail operating staff and Maori Wardens over the weekend have prompted calls for much better safety measures on Auckland's rail network.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says the assualts on Maori Wardens and ticket collectors are the latest in a string of violence directed at personnel operating Auckland's trains, and follows serious assaults in January.

"Further assulats on the Auckland rail network are hugely frustrating for rail workers. It leaves them questioning what is being done to protect them," RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Wider Costs of Overseas built Locomotives needs to be realised

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Tuesday April 8th, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says the full cost to New Zealand Inc of the decision to have our trains built overseas must not be swept under the carpet.

 

KiwiRail and the RMTU have today confirmed that the first of KiwiRail’s Chinese built DL locomotives have returned to service.  They had been withdrawn when it was discovered they contained asbestos.

 

If KiwiRail’s locomotives were built locally the problem of asbestos would never have arisen, Rail & Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Joint approach for reintroduction of DL locomotives

Joint Media release: KiwiRail & the Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Tuesday April 8th, 2014

The first of KiwiRail's DL locomotives returned to service today, with more to be introduced over the coming weeks.

The reintroduction follows confirmation by WorkSafe New Zealand that the robust set of operating and managment procedures developed by KiwiRail and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, took all practicable steps to managing the work-realted hazards.

Click Here for Full Joint Media Release

KiwiRail Coastal Pacific Suspension unnecessary and Short Sighted

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Monday March 17, 2014

Today’s announcement that KiwiRail will suspend its Christchurch-Picton passenger service, the Coastal Pacific, over the winter months is unnecessary and short sighted, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

Workers were told of the decision at a meeting underway a short time ago.

‘KiwiRail are also proposing to make three train attendant positions redundant, something that we’ll be questioning given the strong performance of the TranzScenic arm of the business this summer,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

Click Here for Full Media Release

New Zealand union mourns UK transport worker leader

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Wednesday March 12, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is expressing its sorrow at the loss of international union leader Bob Crow, who died in London yesterday.

Bob was General Secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), and was an executive board member of the global body for transport workers, the International Transport Workers Federation.

New Zealand Rail & Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said that Bob was a staunch and effective advocate for transport workers in his country and globally, and his loss will be widely felt across the international transport workers community.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Tougher Asbestos Rules Needed

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union      

Friday March 7, 2014

 

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is renewing its call for better regulations on the use of asbestos.

The union met with KiwiRail yesterday on the investigations into asbestos in the network of DL locomotives.

“These locomotives shouldn’t have been built with asbestos in them.  That was clear in the service contract.  But it doesn’t surprise us that there were problems, we have had quality concerns with Chinese manufactured rail gear including both the DL locomotives and the flat top wagons,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary, Rail & Maritime Transport Union.

Click Here for Full Media Release

Asbestos Regulations in New Zealand Woeful

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 4th March, 2014

New Zealand needs to follow Australia’s lead and ban the importation of asbestos containing products, the rail union said today.

KiwiRail has pulled its forty DL locomotives from the network after asbestos was detected in the soundproofing of the drivers compartment.

“Our regulations in this area are inadequate”, said Wayne Butson, General Secretary, Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

Click Here For Full Media Release

Lyttelton Port safety impovements welcome but overdue

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 4th February, 2014

A union representing workers at the Port of Lyttleton say it’s positive that the company is moving fast to fix safety concerns following the serious injury to a forklift driver, but a better commitment to health and safety should have seen it avoided in the first place.

Port of Lyttelton was issued 5 WorkSafe New Zealand improvement notices in January relating to its City Depot near Woolston.

It follows a serious injury to a forklift driver at the Depot.  The Port also suffered the deaths of a watersider in December and of a contractor in November at the Port.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said that the company has moved fast to effect the changes required by the improvement notices.

Click Here For Full Media Release

serious Concern for the safety of train staff

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday, 3rd February, 2014

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is expressing concern for the safety of staff on Auckland’s train network following serious assaults over the weekend.

Two Transdev Auckland train inspectors were assaulted on Saturday afternoon at the Ranui and Swanson stations.  In one incident a worker was surrounded by 8 people and kicked and punched and was left with a fracture to the eye socket.

It follows another assault on 29 January where a Transdev and a KiwiRail staff member were each punched in Avondale.

“These are shameful acts and those responsible must be held to account,” said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson

Click Here for Full Media Release

Port of lyttelton safety needs serious attention

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Sunday, 22nd December, 2013

Safety at the Port of Lyttelton needs serious attention following the second death in two months, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

The RMTU has today expressed its condolences for the death of a watersider at the Port of Lyttelton yesterday, a member of the Maritime Union of New Zealand.

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Hillside - Not Forgotten

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday, 20th December, 2013

Former workers from Hillside workshops in Dunedin gathered today to mark the one year anniversary of the closure of their past workplace.

“We shouldn’t be here today marking the anniversary of Hillside’s closure.  Hillside played an important role in our rail industry, and there was ample reason for it to stay open,” RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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New Zealand Rail workers stand in solidarity with Korean Counterparts

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday, 10th December, 2013

New Zealand rail workers are rallying in support of their Korean counterparts, who are protesting against their government’s unpopular new rail restructuring and privatisation programme.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson is travelling to Korea today to form part of an international observer monitoring panel of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), and a protest takes place today outside the Korean Embassy in Wellington.

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Rail Union will look to open dialogue with new kiwiRail head

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday, 8th Novemer, 2013


The Rail & Maritime Transport Union said today it would look forward to meeting KiwiRail’s new CEO as soon as his feet are under the desk, with health and safety and strengthening rail’s role as a key part of New Zealand’s transport infrastructure being top priorities for workers.

KiwiRail’s Board announced this afternoon that Peter Reidy, currently with Downer EDI Group in Australia, has been appointed Chief Executive and will start on 10 February 2014, replacing Jim Quinn.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said that KiwiRail workers were looking for stability after significant upheaval in recent years.

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Rail Workers Join Wall of Opposition to Rights Cuts

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday, 20th August, 2013

Rail and port workers have joined other workers in opposition to proposed employment law changes.

Large union rallies got underway in Wellington today, to be followed next week by Christchurch and Auckland.

Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, said that rail and port workers were particularly concerned by the proposals around multi employer collective agreements (MECAs).

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Greater use of grade separation on rail crossings needed

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 9th May, 2013

The union for rail workers says that greater use of grade separation such as over bridges or underpasses are needed to properly protect pedestrians from rail accidents.

This morning KiwiRail released its findings on an accident at the Morningside pedestrian level crossing in Auckland, in which a woman using a wheelchair was seriously injured after she was hit by a train.

“Most importantly we want to express our ongoing sympathy for the woman who suffered such a horrific incident, and commend the two others who ran to her assistance on that morning,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

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Taskforce must serve as blueprint for health and safety

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 30th April, 2013

Today’s independent taskforce report must serve as a blueprint for the future of workplace health and safety, the Rail & Maritime Transport Union said today.

Today the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety released its report to the government.

“This report has been carefully and methodically put together and deserves to be implemented in full,” said Wayne Butson, RMTU General Secretary.

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Employment law changes tilting the balance strongly toward employers

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday 26th April, 2013

Rail and port workers say an ability for employers to opt out of multi employer collective agreements sends a message that a race to the bottom on wages is acceptable.

“The rail MECA employment agreement is the largest in the rail industry and covers over 3,000 workers at NZ Railways Corporation, Ontrack Infrastructure and KiwiRail,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

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KiwiRail TranzCoastal Suspension 'Misguided and Shortshighted' Says Rail Union

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Embargoed until 2pm.

Friday 8th March, 2013

 

Today’s announcement that KiwiRail will suspend its Christchurch-Picton passenger service, the TranzCoastal, over the winter months is both shortsighted and misguided, says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

‘Since the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2012 KiwiRail’s Christchurch based passenger services have suffered a decline in customer numbers, but this summer has seen the reversal of that trend, and it does not make sense to stop running this train over the winter,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

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Procurement Policy Not Just About A Fair Shake Of The Stick!

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday 8th March, 2013

Government procurement policy needs to be much more than just giving firms a “fair shake of the stick” as Steve Joyce put it this morning, the union for rail workers said.

This morning Steven Joyce commented on proposed changes to government procurement policy, including requirements that New Zealand firms are consulted before tender documents are prepared, and government taking a ‘whole of life’ analysis of procurement.

Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, said it was galling to hear Steven Joyce talk about whole of life cost analysis, after he so flatly rejected exactly that approach in the 2010 BERL report on the Auckland train electrification project.

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KiwiRail Auditor General Investigation would have been beneficial

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday 8th January, 2013

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is disappointed that the Auditor General will not probe KiwiRail’s handling of its contracting out of wagons and locomotives to China CNR Corporation.

The Auditor General has today said it will not launch a formal inquiry into purchases of rolling stock from China CNR by KiwiRail, following a request last year from Dunedin South MP Clare Curran.

Wayne Butson, RMTU General Secretary, said that an inquiry would have been beneficial.

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National 2 Minute stopwork to mark Hillside Closure

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 20th December, 2012

KiwiRail workers across the country will stop work for two minutes at 11am this Friday to mark the passing of 130 years of engineering work at Hillside Workshops.

Last month KiwiRail announced Hillside’s foundry had been sold to Bradken Engineering with the retention of 18 jobs, and KiwiRail will keep 7 workers to run its heavy lift maintenance operation, but the rest of Hillside will close on Friday, with 90 job losses.

Wayne Butson, RMTU General Secretary said Hillside had made a huge contribution to the New Zealand rail industry and the Dunedin economy over the past 130 years.

“Hillside has a very proud history, and rail workers across the country wanted a way to mark the significance of its closure,” he said.

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Rail Workers ratify employment agreement

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 13th December, 2012

Rail workers have voted to ratify their collective agreement for a two year term.

The agreement is the largest in the rail industry and covers over 2,500 workers at NZ Railways Corporation, Ontrack and KiwiRail.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said the agreement included a pay increase of 1.2% in the first year and a 2% increase in the second year.  It is backdated to 30 June 2012.

“In the midst of significant budget cuts at KiwiRail, rail workers were of the view that this was the best offer available,” Wayne Butson said.

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Mass union meeting on Port CEO to share bonus

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 12th December, 2012

A mass meeting of members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) a short time ago called on Lyttelton Port Company CEO Peter Davie to share his $600,000 bonus amongst port workers.

'Today’s joint meeting of the union’s Lyttelton Port Branch and Canterbury Rail Branch voted unanimously in support of a resolution calling on Davie to divide the money amongst the workers at the port,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson, who was in attendance.

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International Rail Workers Condemn Hillside Decision

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday 10th December, 2012

A meeting of Asia Pacific rail unions has condemned the government’s failure to keep rail manufacturing jobs in New Zealand.

At a meeting of the International Centre for Labour Solidarity in Wellington over the weekend, delegates were updated on the situation at Hillside rail workshops in Dunedin, and expressed deep concern at the failure of the New Zealand government to support the local rail industry.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said that the unions, representing rail workers from Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, called for stronger procurement rules that took into account whole-of-life costs, and recognised the wider economic benefits of buying local.

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Final Decision on Hillside Jobs a Huge blow for Dunedin and New Zealand Manufacturing

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday 3rd December, 2012

KiwiRail today confirmed that 90 jobs at Hillside Railway Workshops will be slashed by the end of January, something the Rail and Maritime Transport Union says is a direct result of government policy.

Hillside workers been in limbo since April when the state owned rail operator announced it was seeking a buyer for the 130 year old workshops.

The foundry has been sold to Australian company Bradkin, meaning 18 jobs will stay, but no buyer could be found for the other manufacturing facilities. KiwiRail will keep half a dozen or so workers to run its heavy lift maintenance operation but the rest of Hillside will close.

‘The consultation period with KiwiRail closed today and it’s no surprise to hear that their proposal to lay off 90 workers hasn’t substantially changed,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

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Partial Sale of Hillside cold Comfort as 90 jobs face the axe

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 15th November, 2012

Today’s announcement that KiwiRail has sold off part of Dunedin’s Hillside Railway workshops will be cold comfort to nearly ninety workers who face redundancy says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

‘KiwiRail was been trying to sell Hillside since April because ever since last year when  the company decided to buy rolling stock overseas the viability of the workshops was thrown into question,’ said RMTU Acting General Secretary Todd Valster.

‘The fact the foundry will remain open under the new owner is of some solace, and KiwiRail’s decision to retain eight jobs to do heavy lift maintenance on the site makes sense, but the fact is that the closure of the manufacturing facility is a body blow,’ he said.

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KiwiRail Workers in Dunedin anxious about Future

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Sunday 28th October, 2012

Workers at Dunedin’s Hillside engineering workshops are becoming increasingly anxious about the fate of their worksite, the rail union said today.

Earlier this month KiwiRail told the Otago Daily Times that delays in the proposed sale of Hillside had not affected work at Hillside.

“While it is the case that the delays have not affected the rail projects on the books at Hillside, it is most certainly affecting the workforce,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail & Maritime Transport Union.

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East Coast and Hawkes Bay let down by KiwiRail’s mothballing announcement

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 2nd October, 2012

East Coast and Hawkes Bay communities are the latest to be let down by a defeatist attitude to rail by the government and KiwiRail management, the Rail & Maritime Transport Union said today.

KiwiRail has today announced the decision to mothball the Napier-Gisborne rail line.

“We are witnessing the line by line destruction of the national rail network,” said Phil Spanswick, RMTU organiser.

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Reduction in job losses a small victory for common sense

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday 24th September, 2012

A reduction in proposed redundancies at KiwiRail is welcome, but the significant jobs cuts that remain represent a failure of government policy on rail, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

KiwiRail will today begin a series of meetings with staff on a restructure to its Infrastructure and Engineering division.

In July it suggested job cuts as high as 220, with more next year, but this number has come down to 158, RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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Final Decision on Port Jobs a Huge Blow for Timaru

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 11th September, 2012

Prime Port in Timaru today confirmed that more than 50 jobs on the waterfront will be slashed by the end of September; something the Rail and Maritime Transport Union says is a direct result of government inaction.

Port workers in Timaru have been left hanging since early July when shipping lines Maersk and Hamburg Sud announced they were to cease calling into Timaru from the end of this month.

‘This do nothing government is sitting on its hands while hundreds of jobs are being destroyed around New Zealand. In recent weeks we’ve had KiwiRail saying it’ll lay off almost 200 track workers, Hillside Workshops put on the sale block, Solid Energy axing jobs in Huntley and at Spring Creek, Comalco cutting jobs at Bluff, Norske Skog cutting production in the Bay of Plenty and now these redundancies in Timaru,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

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KiwiRail Annual Report Highlights Unrealistic Expectations

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 29th August, 2012

Financial independence for KiwiRail should not come off the back of large staffing cuts and putting safety standards at risk, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

KiwiRail today released its annual report. It is in its third year of a ten year ‘Turnaround Plan’ established under the National government which expects it to be self-sustainable by 2020.

“The loss of 181 skilled rail workers is a significant blow for the network, and the government should explain to the public why it has put KiwiRail in this position,” Wayne Butson, RMTU General Secretary said.

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Roads heavily Subsidised while Rail expected to pay its own way.

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 29th August, 2012

A major road funding decision being announced today shows the government has one set of rules for road, but entirely different expectations for rail, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today. 

The Transport Minister is expected to announce a multimillion dollar funding package later today for strengthening bridges for heavy vehicles.

“No one would realistically expect that road users meet the full cost of the national roading network.  It is understood there is a wider social benefit from people and goods being transported in this mode,” RMTU General Secretary Wayne Buston said.

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Hillside Must Stay Open, Says Rail Union

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday 27th August, 2012

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) strongly rejects any suggestion that Hillside Railway Workshops be closed if a buyer cannot be found for the South Dunedin factory.

‘In the Infrastructure and Engineering Business Plan that was leaked to the media last week KiwiRail talks about closing Hillside if they can’t find a buyer,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

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KiwiRail turnaround plan intellectually bankrupt

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday 24th August, 2012

The KiwiRail turnaround plan is intellectually bankrupt and a tragic case of history repeating itself, the rail workers’ union said today.

KiwiRail have today formally released their Infrastructure and Engineering business plan 2013-2015, after earlier trying to prevent its release.

“The jobs of 181 skilled track workers are at risk, in the name of nothing more than an accounting exercise to save $200 million and meet head count targets,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

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More new wellington trains welcomed but safety concerns remain over staff cuts

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 23rd August, 2012

New Matangi trains for the Wellington network is great news for commuters but concerns remain over whether the Wellington track and infrastructure will remain for purpose into the future if proposed staff cuts go ahead, the rail workers union said today.

Greater Wellington Regional Council and NZTA have today announced that Rotem Hyundai will construct up to 35 more Matangi trains to replace 43 Ganz Mavag trains. This option has been chosen over refurbishment, and medium term replacement of the remaining Ganz Mavag trains with predicted long term savings and benefits.

“A full complement of the same modern train will work well for Wellington, long term, but at the same time we have KiwiRail proposing, in the very short term, to cut the numbers of Wellington track workers by over 50% and more of the same next year,” said Wayne Butson, Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary.

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Christchurch Rail Workers Revolt Against Cost Cutting Plan

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 16th August, 2012

An emergency stop work meeting of Christchurch KiwiRail Track workers today condemned the Company’s plan to axe 181 jobs nationally, and 18 in Christchurch.

‘Yesterday we were told by a local manager that KiwiRail may in the future “get outside help” to do work that is required to keep the network up to standard, at the same time as they’re proposing to make our members redundant, “ said RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr.

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The Union Report - 13th August 2012

Featuring Wayne Butson and Matt McCarten

Click Here for Youtube Video

Port Announcement Sounds Death Knell for over 50 Jobs

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 10th August, 2012

Prime Port in Timaru today announced a proposal to axe more than 50 jobs on the waterfront by the end of September, something the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says is a direct result of the lack of a national ports strategy.

‘This government isn’t interested in an integrated and planned approach to getting our export goods to market and New Zealand workers and businesses are paying the price. Since Maersk and Hamburg Sud announced they were pulling out the Timaru container trade our members have been left wondering about the extent of job losses on the waterfront, today they found out. For us, it’s cold comfort to say to Government ‘we told you so’,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

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Contracting out fears grow among KiwiRail workers

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 8th August, 2012

Fears of widespread contracting out of KiwiRail jobs are growing, with more examples emerging of contractors building up capacity to take over the SOE’s jobs.

KiwiRail have this week confirmed that they are seeking to cut 181 staff positions from their Infrastructure and Engineering division.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said the union has learned that Fulton Hogan has been acquiring Hi-Rail vehicles In Dunedin, Greymouth and Auckland.

This followed advertisements by the company  for rail workers skilled in “rail project development, track construction, brownfield railway work” and more.

"We have also learned today that Dunedin KiwiRail management have told local contractors to ready their staff to carry out rail engineering work," Wayne Butson said.

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KiwiRail can't say how job cuts will impact on the network

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday 6th August, 2012

The country’s rail workforce remains deeply concerned about the impact of job cuts on their ability to safely maintain the network, the rail workers’ union said today.

KiwiRail have today confirmed that they are seeking to cut 181 staff positions from their Infrastructure and Engineering division.

“KiwiRail’s recent history of cost cutting and contracting out has been disastrous,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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Safety Concerns remain for rail workers

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Monday 23rd July, 2012

Concerns are growing among rail staff about the impact of KiwiRail’s proposed staffing cuts, following a slip in the Buller Gorge last week.

KiwiRail is proposing to cut 170 to 220 jobs from its Engineering and Infrastructure division to contribute to spending cuts across the SOE of $200 million.

Locomotive engineers and other operating staff have deep concerns about the impact any cuts could have on their and the public’s health and safety, Rail & Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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Port job losses consequence of lack of national ports strategy

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 11th July, 2012

Job losses on the Timaru waterfront as shipping lines Maersk and Hamburg Sud pull out of the container business in the South Island port are the inevitable result of New Zealand’s lack of a national port strategy, and the continued exemption of shipping lines to coverage by the Commerce Act says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

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Large scale KiwiRail Redundancies will hurt restoratoration efforts

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 10th July, 2012

It would be a big mistake to shed staff at a time when considerable work remains to be done to restore New Zealanders’ rail track and infrastructure asset, the union for rail workers says.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is participating in a joint series of meetings with KiwiRail management, for staff to hear KiwiRail proposals for 170 to 220 redundancies to contribute to spending cuts of $200 million.

Wayne Butson, RMTU General Secretary, said that KiwiRail workers had listened politely to the KiwiRail management presentation, but were overwhelmingly against the proposals.

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Privatising Assets should NOT be used as a reason for Rail plan

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 24th May, 2012

The government shouldn’t hide behind the sale of profitable assets and use privatisation as the solution to funding KiwiRail’s long term plan, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

The Finance Minister today announced that proceeds of the sale of Mighty River Power would form part of the funding of the 2010 KiwiRail turnaround plan.

But Wayne Butson, RMTU General Secretary, said that selling one asset to pay for another made no economic sense.

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For Sale Signs at Hillside Workshops Totally Avoidable

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 19th April, 2012

Putting Hillside workshops up for sale would never have been needed if the government had a focus on keeping New Zealanders in jobs, the union for Hillside workers said today.

KiwiRail has today announced the sale of its Hillside rail engineering workshops in Dunedin.

This follows the reluctance of the government and KiwiRail to use recent procurement of new rolling stock to support local jobs, Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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port workers united against pOAL sackings  

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday March 7th, 2012

Port workers are united against today’s sacking of nearly 300 workers at the Ports of Auckland, Rail and Maritime Transport Union Secretary Wayne Butson said today.

“The actions of POAL management show that they will stop at nothing in order to strip union members not only of their rights at work, but their right to a secure job in the first place.”

Wayne Butson said that casualisation and contracting out at the Ports would be bad for all Aucklanders.”

“Ports of Auckland management have run a systematic campaign against their own staff.”

RMTU Members Stand Strong With Maritime Union

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday February 23, 2012

No rail or port member of the Rail & Maritime Transport Union will be crossing any picket lines during the Ports of Auckland strike, RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said today.

RMTU members at the rail and port branches at Auckland and Tauranga ports were briefed late last week on developments at Ports of Auckland. Christchurch RMTU members also will be briefed in early March.

“Our members stand united with the Maritime Union of NZ,” Wayne Butson said.

Problems With Chinese Flat Top Wagons Not a Surprise - Rail Union

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 16 February, 2012

The union for rail workers says the difficulties KiwiRail is experiencing with its wagons highlights the problem with taking a very short-sighted view of procurement.

It was reported this morning that almost one in ten of KiwiRail’s 500 new container flat top wagons are out of the fleet undergoing repairs and maintenance.

In December 2010 KiwiRail awarded production of the wagons to China CNR Corporation, rather than have them built at its own workshops in Dunedin and Lower Hutt.

“KiwiRail will inevitably have whole-of-life cost blowouts if it continues to take a short term procurement approach solely focused on the cheapest products available,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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Publically owned companies should protect, not destroy, jobs

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Sunday 12 February, 2012

Publically owned companies like Ports of Auckland should be protecting jobs, not casualising them, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

The RMTU, a member of the International Transport Workers Federation, is backing Auckland port workers in their campaign for secure jobs.

“Figures out this week showed there are still 150,000 people unemployed. Publically owned companies like Ports of Auckland should be in the business of protecting jobs and livelihoods, not attempting to destroy them,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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Steve Gurney diversion sends wrong message on rail safety

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Friday 27 January, 2012

Public understanding about the serious consequences of poor driving at level crossings is not helped by police diversion being offered for collisions involving careless driving, rail workers say.

Athlete Steve Gurney’s car crashed with a passenger train on a level crossing near Rangiora in September last year. 

He pleaded guilty to careless driving and was yesterday offered diversion.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said Gurney was wrong last year to label the incident a simple mistake.

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Retaining skilled rail workforce needs to be a priority for Transport
Minister

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 14 December, 2011

An important issue for the new Transport Minister will be how to retain skilled rail workers in New Zealand, their union said today.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union represents more than 4,500 workers in rail and ports, and looks forward to meeting with Gerry Brownlee in the near future.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said that as oil prices increased over time, rail would become even more essential to the national transport supply chain, and the retention of a skilled workforce was critical to that.

Hillside Workers Down Tools, Express ‘No Confidence’ in Their Bosses and Call on CEO Jim Quinn to ‘Step In’

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 16 November, 2011

Angry Rail & Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) members downed tools this morning for a stop work meeting that has passed a motion of no confidence in Hillside site manager Andy Bisset and KiwiRail Workshops Manager Clive Cooper-Smith.

The meeting comes four months after 44 jobs were slashed at the South Dunedin Railway Workshops.

‘The 110 workers that survived the job cull are being offered at least 10 hours overtime per week, we estimate that about 30% of the labour on the projects that are being worked on is  being outsourced and there are around a dozen outside contractors actually working alongside our members in the factory,’ said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson.

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KiwiRail separation concerning – foreshadowing privatisation?

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU)

Sunday October 30, 2011

Rail workers would be concerned if KiwiRail’s move to separate its business in two is a foreshadow of future privatisation, their union said today.

KiwiRail announced on Friday that it is seeking government endorsement to separate into two businesses, one owning the rail corridor land and the other owning the rolling stock, properties and other assets.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said that this structure sets up the company for privatisation.

“KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn has said it is essentially a paper transaction and won't change how they operate.  If that is the case, then we question the point of the move,” Wayne Butson said.

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Mothballing Northland rail line short sighted

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU)

Wednesday September 28, 2011

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is backing a petition to save Northland's rail network.

The petition, signed by over 10,000 people, will be presented at Parliament next month.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said that mothballing of provincial rail lines was short sighted.

“We support the efforts of the Save Our Rail coalition in Northland,” he said. “They know that to have a world class transport infrastructure means a commitment to a quality rail network as a key part of the transport supply chain.”

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Wage Increase for Port Workers Reflects Their Commitment to the Community

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Friday 16th September 2011.

The two main waterfront unions have voted to ratify a collective employment agreement at Lyttelton Port that delivers a wage increase of just over 10% by September 2013. The increase is delivered in four stages over the next two years.

“Lyttelton Port has kept going through three major earthquakes in the last year, the latest on 13 June. Our members have played a crucial role in keeping the Port operational and ensuring the flow of goods that keeps a large part of the South Island economy going,” said Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson

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Parliament can’t ignore 14,000 people’s views on local rail jobs

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 8th September 2011.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says Parliament cannot ignore the concerns of 14,000 people who want to keep rail manufacturing jobs in New Zealand.

The union has written to Transport and Industrial Relations Committee, which met yesterday, asking to give evidence before it in relation to the petition signed by 14,000 people calling on the government to commit to building rolling stock in New Zealand workshops.

Meanwhile, earlier yesterday it was revealed that KiwiRail’s supplier in China had under-delivered on a major Australian order, forcing Downer EDI to spend significant amounts of time fixing problems with the trains.

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13,854 Kiwis want to save Hillside and Hutt rail workshops

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday August 9th 2011.

Lower Hutt rail workers whose jobs are at risk say the government needs to listen to the 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for trains to be made at home.

The workers’ petition was presented to Dunedin South MP Clare Curran at Parliament a short time ago by workers from Hillside and Hutt rail Workshops. Clare Curran was flanked at Parliament by Green Party Transport Spokesperson Gareth Hughes

“Up to 30 positions at Lower Hutt’s workshop are now at risk. This follows the redundancies of 44 Dunedin workers last month, both a result of KiwiRail purchasing rail rolling stock and electric units overseas” said Wayne Butson.

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Procurement policy must support jobs

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday July 21st 2011,

The rail workers’ union says a government procurement policy that supports jobs is urgently needed, and welcomed Labour’s moves in this direction.

“KiwiRail’s decision to not bid for either the $500 million contract for Auckland’s new trains, or for the 300 flat top wagons, was resoundingly rejected by workers, business leaders, the city council and others as taking a very short-sighted view of procurement,” RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

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Govt happy to talk Hobbits, but not trains

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday July 20th 2011,

New Zealand’s unwillingness to back rail manufacturing is out of step with two recent developments in similar countries overseas, the union for rail workers says.

Last week KiwiRail confirmed redundancies at Hillside workshop in Dunedin, a result of the SOE purchasing rolling stock and electric units overseas, rather than having them made locally.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said that the New Zealand situation contrasted with recent developments in Australia and South Africa.

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Union- KiwiRail Talks Back On Track, Public Rally Still On

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday June 28th 2011,

The RMTU met with KiwiRail management today to discuss proposed 40 job losses at Hillside Railway workshops in South Dunedin. Whilst the talks were generally constructive, the RMTU is clear that we have to maintain the pressure on the Government to save these jobs and the future of the workshops.

‘We’ve called a rally in Dunedin on Saturday 9 July to send a message to the Minister that his Government, as the shareholder of KiwiRail, has a responsibility to these workers and to Dunedin’, said RMTU Organiser John Kerr.

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Joyce creates jobs overseas by selling out NZ workers

Media Release: Greens

Thursday June 9th 2011

Steven Joyce must take the blame for another 41 Kiwis being put out of work by this Government’s policies, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today.

The Government gave KiwiRail $500 million dollars to build 38 new carriages for Auckland's electrified rail network.  KiwiRail, with ministerial approval, tendered the contract overseas despite a strong economic case for building the carriages in New Zealand prepared by Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL).

“This contract should have gone to the workshops in Hillside in Dunedin and Woburn in the Hutt Valley,” said Mrs Turei.

Click Here for the Full Media Release

Misjudgement costs Kiwis jobs

Media Release: Labour

Thursday June 9th 2011

The forty one jobs lost at KiwiRail’s Dunedin Hillside workshops today illustrate the real-life effects of government procurement policy, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Parker and Labour MP for Dunedin South Clare Curran.

“Transport Minister Steven Joyce claimed jobs were not at risk. Today’s layoffs provide the harsh proof of his misjudgement,” David Parker said.

The Hillside workshop is the repository of significant engineering expertise for New Zealand, and one of the largest employers in Dunedin.

Click here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail job losses could have been avoided – union

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday June 9th 2011, 1pm

Proposed KiwiRail job losses in Dunedin could have been avoided if the government and KiwiRail had made sure major rail manufacturing projects were carried out by New Zealand rail workers, their union said.

KiwiRail will today announce to workers a proposal to cut 41 jobs at its Hillside workshop in South Dunedin.  Workers have until 1 July to comment on the proposal.

“The Transport Minister needs to front up and take responsibility for these proposed job losses.  Inaction from Steven Joyce and KiwiRail has lead to this situation,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

ACC reforms: Tell the real story behind KiwiRail’s safety record improvement

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 1 June 2011

The use of KiwiRail as a pin-up company for improved safety outcomes obscures the fact that worker participation was the key to turning around the rail industry’s safety record, the rail workers’ union said today.

ACC Minister Nick Smith today sighted KiwiRail as an example of how better safety outcomes can occur at workplaces where employers manage their own accident claims and rehabilitation.

But Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said that this significantly overlooked the critical turning point for health and safety in the rail industry.

Click here for Full Media Release

Merit in discussing who should own Auckland trains

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 26 May 2011

There may be some merit in a proposal to transfer ownership of Auckland’s new electric trains to Auckland Transport, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

KiwiRail is in the final stage of a tender process for the $500 million job to build 38 three-car electric multiple units and 13 locomotives for the Auckland rail network.

Click here for Full Media Release

Manufacturing decline in Otago shows need to back Hillside

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 12 May 2011

Declining manufacturing in the Otago region should be a wakeup call to the government to
support the local rail manufacturing and associated engineering industries, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union said today.

Click here for Full Media Release

New RMTU president

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Union members in the rail and maritime transport industries have a new leader, following the election of Tauranga port worker Aubrey Wilkinson to the post of National President of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU).

Click here for Full Media Release

Workers' Memorial Day: Mourn the dead, fight for the living

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 28 April 2011

Today’s Workers Memorial Day commemorations would be particularly moving, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) said today.

Workers’ Memorial Day was first observed in 1989 in Canada, and now on April 28 each year hundreds of communities and worksites around the world honour those who have died or been injured at work.

Click here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail must enforce local content provision in shortlist

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday 21 April 2011

Rail workers are today calling for a firm commitment from KiwiRail that it will rigorously enforce local content provisions it placed in tender documents for the construction of Auckland’s new trains.

Late yesterday KiwiRail announced the two shortlisted firms for the $500 million job to build 38 three-car electric multiple units and 13 locomotives for the Auckland rail network.

Last May, Chambers of Commerce, local government and unions commissioned a report setting out the economic benefits of building the trains in the Dunedin and Lower Hutt workshops.  BERL’s report estimated a local build would have added between 770 to 1270 additional jobs, $232 to $250 million to GDP and an increase in crown revenue by a net $65 million to $70 million.

Click here for full Media Release

Government leadership lacking on KiwiRail

Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday 14 April 2011

Rail manufacturing workers say KiwiRail procurement decisions are too important to the local economy for the Transport Minister and Prime Minister to wash their hands of them.

An announcement from KiwiRail’s on the successful bidder for the $500 million purchase of 38 three-car electric multiple units and 13 locomotives for the Auckland rail network is very close, it was noted in Parliament’s Question Time yesterday.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said that several KiwiRail purchasing decisions had gone against the local workforce, and it was time for government to require stronger local content provisions from KiwiRail’s procurement programme.

Click here for Full Media Release

Rail union condemns TranzCoastal service withdrawal
Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Monday 4 April 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE EMBARGOED UNTIL 8PM

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union has condemned the decision to suspend the TranzCoastal passenger service.
RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson says the decision to mothball the Christchurch–Picton passenger service until 15 August 2011 was short sighted and bad business
.

Click here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail: stop shunting rail passengers on to buses

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Friday March 25, 2011

Rail workers say KiwiRail should stop paying for coach services between Christchurch and Picton, and resume the TranzCoastal passenger train on that line.

 KiwiRail suspended South Island passenger services following the February Earthquake, but so far only the TransAlpine to Greymouth has resumed. Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said it was time for the passenger line to return. 

“We understand it is costing the company over $20,000 for alternative bus transport from Christchurch to Picton.”

Click here for Full Media Release

 

SOE overlooking local workers for loco engineering jobs

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday February 9, 2011

An Auckland railway worker says that KiwiRail should focus more on up-skilling local workers rather than recruiting overseas for their engineering jobs.

Bernie Henare, chairperson of the Auckland Rail Branch of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union, said KiwiRail was too focused on overseas recruitment for upcoming locomotive engineering jobs in Auckland.

“Why is KiwiRail going overseas to recruit workers when we have plenty of willing Kiwi workers here to choose from,” he said.

Click here for Full Media Release

 

KiwiRail must honour commitment for local content

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday January 20, 2011

KiwiRail must honour the local content provisions it put in tender documents for the construction of Auckland’s new trains, rail workers say.

 Tenders close this week for the $500 million job to build 38 three-car electric multiple units and 13 locomotives for the Auckland rail network.   KiwiRail’s May 2010 tender document encouraged firms to ally themselves with New Zealand subcontractors or suppliers and “include as much New Zealand content and resources in the design, construction, delivery, testing, maintenance and support of the EMUs as is appropriate.”

“It is vital that KiwiRail honours this local involvement pledge as it considers the tenders,” said Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

Click here for full media release

KiwiRail must honour local involvement pledge

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Monday July 19, 2010

 

Rail workers say KiwiRail must honour the local content provisions it put in tender documents for the construction of Auckland’s new electric multiple units.

KiwiRail announced late on Friday that they had reached a short list of four potential suppliers to build the trains, following an expression of interest process in May.

Click here for full media release

Fire at will extension compromises workers’ safety – rail union

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Friday July 16, 2010

Extensions to the law that makes it easier for employers to sack workers will put the health and safety of more workers at risk, a transport union is warning.

“Workers in dangerous industries like rail need to have the confidence that they can raise health and safety matters without fear of repercussion,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

Click here for full media release

Kiwi Jobs Bill will help stem loss of manufacturing

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday July 14, 2010

 

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says stronger local procurement requirements are needed to stop more manufacturing work going overseas, and the union is supporting Clare Curran’s Bill to help achieve this.

Click here for full media release

Much needed rail investment encouraging

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday May 18, 2010

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is encouraged by the funding boost to the country’s rail network, and is welcoming an apparent commitment to retaining it in public hands.

“$750m over 3 years is much needed investment,” RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

Click here for full media release

Rail investment welcome but more needed

Media release CTU

Tuesday May 18 2010

The CTU has welcomed the announcement today of ongoing investment in rail. It is however only a fraction of what is needed.

Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, said: “The signal of government commitment to improve and retain the network is positive.”

Click here for full media release

KiwiRail tender may see some work done locally

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday May 18, 2010

Rail workers say strong local content provisions in tender documents for Auckland’s new trains reflects a dedicated ‘buy local’ campaign from unions, local authorities and chambers of commerce in Dunedin and Wellington.

Click here for the full media release

KiwiRail decision a slap in the face to rail workers

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Wednesday May 12, 2010

Rail workers are gutted by KiwiRail’s decision, announced a short time ago, to not bid for the construction of Auckland’s new electric trains, labeling it defeatism at its worst.

Click here for full media release

Why Just Dismiss Hillside's Capabities?

Otago Daily Times

Phil Goff

A report by economic consultants shows there is a strong business and economic case for building rolling stock at Hillside workshops in Dunedin, says Phil Goff. Why, then, won't the Government consider it?

Click here for the full article

Jump in Otago unemployment demonstrates need to back Hillside workshops

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Thursday May 6, 2010

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says today’s big spike in unemployment in the Otago region, bucking the trend nationally, demonstrates the need to support rail industry jobs like those at Hillside workshop in Dunedin.

Click here for Full Media Release

KiwiRail ‘Cinderella’ comments unhelpful, rail union says

Attn: Political and Transport reporters

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union

Tuesday May 4, 2010

The union for rail workers is questioning whether Steven Joyce’s reference to KiwiRail as a Cinderella foreshadows an intention to cut back on investment in the SOE.

In an interview on Close Up last night Transport Minister Steven Joyce said that KiwiRail had been treated like a Cinderella in New Zealand for a long time.

“What does Steven Joyce mean by this,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson said. “Is this the opening shot in a signal to downgrade investment in the company?”

Click here for Full Media Release

New BERL report backs up case for locally built trains

Attn: Political and Transport reporters
Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union
Monday May 3, 2010

A new report out today by economics consultancy BERL proves there is a strong economic case to build the trains needed for Auckland rail electrification at home, and the union for rail workers is today launching a campaign to encourage government to make sure this happens.

KiwiRail has $500 million to purchase 38 three-car electric multiple units and 13 locomotives for the Auckland rail network. 

Click here for the Full Media Release

Strong case for KiwiRail to build rolling stock for Auckland urban rail development

Media release on behalf of The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU), the Dunedin City Council and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions  - Monday 3 May 2010

If KiwiRail builds the electric units and locomotives required for Auckland's urban rail development in its workshops, New Zealand would benefit nationally from additional jobs, economic output, tax take, and improved trade balance according to a study by economic consultancy BERL released today.

BERL’s analysis shows that the benefits compared to production overseas include:

  • Between 770 and 1,270 additional full-time equivalent jobs over the construction period (depending on its length).
  • $232 million to $250 million added to GDP.
  • An increase in Crown revenue by a net $65 million to $70 million.
  • A benefit to the trade balance of $114 million to $122 million.

Click here for the Full Media Release

Trains stop for one minute for Workers’ Memorial Day

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union    Wednesday April 28, 2010

Trains will stop at 12 noon for one minute to remember those who have died at work, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) said today, marking Workers Memorial Day.

“Members of our union work in dangerous industries,” said RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson. Click here for the Full Media Release

 

Road safety compromised by drivers’ long hours and low pay
Media Advisory: Rail and Maritime Transport Union Monday April 19, 2010

Attn: Transport reporters

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is backing calls for an investigation into truck drivers’ pay, and says that road safety will always be compromised when low pay and contracting arrangements force drivers to break the law to make a living.

Click here for the Full Media Release

 

Advisory: Make our trains at home, say rail workers
Media Advisory: Rail and Maritime Transport Union Friday 26 February, 2010

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is using an open day at Hutt Rail workshops this Sunday to urge KiwiRail to back the New Zealand workforce and ‘buy kiwi made’ in its upcoming locomotive and wagon procurement.

KiwiRail is in the market for new locomotives and wagons, and rail workers in New Zealand want the company to commit to building new locomotives and wagons here, rather than upgrading older stock from overseas, RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

Details of the Open Day:

What: Hutt Workshops Open Day, to highlight the work they currently do and what they are capable of doing to build New Zealand locomotives and wagons.

Where: Hutt Workshops, Woburn, entrance via the Bell Road gate.

When: Sunday 28 February 2010, from 11am until 4pm.  NB: Alternative date if poor weather is 7th March 2010.

Ends.

For further information: RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson on (04) 473-6693 or (027) 496-2461

 

Locomotive engineer shortages can only be fixed with training

Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union Thursday 25 February, 2010

A dedicated commitment to training up the New Zealand rail engineering workforce is the only realistic way of combating the lure of higher wages in Australia that is threatening the industry, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) said today.

“Australian wages for locomotive engineers are almost double and a recent recruitment drive is now beginning to hit the industry hard here in New Zealand,” RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

“KiwiRail is experiencing locomotive engineer shortages, and the best long-term fix to this is a dedicated training programme to up-skill New Zealand rail workers in related trades, many of whom would welcome the chance to train as a locomotive engineer.”

“High unemployment in New Zealand also means that a crown entity like KiwiRail should be looking at home for solutions to job shortages, rather than recruiting locomotive engineers from overseas.” 

“Overseas recruitment remains a band aid solution, and we will continue to advocate for a ongoing training programme in New Zealand for locomotive engineers,” Wayne Butson said.

Ends.

For further comment: RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson on (04) 473-6693 or (027) 496-2461

National’s ACC cuts will rip off workers

Media Release for IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday 12 February 2010

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says latest moves to cut back on ACC cover for injured workers amount to the stripping back of a public asset ahead of privatisation.

“ACC works for injured Kiwis, and we want to keep it that way,” RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said today, following the release of a select committee report considering ACC legislation changes.

“The National government is attempting to portray ACC as in financial trouble and in need of major reform, despite advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers and others about how efficient and cost effective a scheme ACC is.”

Click here for the Full Media Release

Rail Union Concerned About Mothballing Of Central North Island Rail Line

Media Statement For IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday 5 November 2009

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) is concerned KiwiRail is mothballing a damaged North Island rail line. A major derailment closed the Stratford-Okahukura Line in the King Country on Monday night, and KiwiRail management have told staff the line will not be repaired. The line was not being closed, but would remain inactive, as management claimed it was not commercially viable to fix it. RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson says the decision was heavily influenced by Government attitudes towards publicly-owned KiwiRail.

Click here for the Full Media Release

CEO's Cluster On H&S

Transport unions demand place for workers in health and safety group

Joint media release Rail and Maritime Transport Union/Maritime Union of New Zealand FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday 11 August 2009

Transport workers have questioned why workers have not been invited to join a new health and safety group being set up by the Minister of Labour. Click here for the Full Media Release

 

Longer Heavier Trucks

RMTU Media Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Wednesday 22 July 2009

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says that plans to allow larger trucks on the road will have bad consequences.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says if larger trucks are permitted, it will make New Zealand roads less safe and will be bad for the environment...

 

Cold Wellington Trains

The union representing rail workers is demanding action on Wellington commuter trains where defective power units are making train travel a "cold miserable experience" for both passengers and staff. Click here for full press release

Rail & Maritime Tranport Workers Mourn Workplace Dead

“The Rail & Maritime Transport Union and it’s members will join with other Unions globally to remember and mourn those who have perished in the workplace, on International Workers Memorial Day” say’s the Union’s General Secretary Wayne Butson.... Click here for full press release

 

The NZ CTU Fact sheet on ACC Controversy

Friday 13 March 2009 Click here for more details (246kb)

 

RMTU/MUNZ - Transport Unions Say Sole Focus On Road Building In Infrastructure Package Wrong Focus For New New Zealand

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday 11 February 2009

Joint RMTU/MUNZ Press Release on the Governments Infrastructure Package along with the Press Release from the Government on the Infrastructure Package. Click here for more details

NZ Has Anti Rail Experts Too!!-

ISCR February Seminar - The Future of rail in NZ - Click here for more details

 

RMTU Speaks Out on Ngaruawahia Train Incident

Rail and Maritime Transport Union media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday 4th February 2009.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says that action must be taken to prevent a serious rail incident in the Waikato.

The union is responding to an incident on Tuesday 3rd February where children on the Ngarauwahia railway bridge pelted the engineer of a freight train with stones and bottles...Read the full press release (http://www.rmtunion.org.nz/images/icons/pdf.gif 432Kb)

 

RMTU Keen To Establish Dialogue With New Transport Minister

Rail and Maritime Transport Union media relase FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday 17th November 2008

The country's largest transport Union, The Rail and Maritime Transport Union, congratulates Steven Joyce on his appointment as Minister of Transport and hopes the new National Government will continue the funding and other support.... Read the full press release (http://www.rmtunion.org.nz/images/icons/pdf.gif 586Kb)

 

New Zealand transport unions back Wellington Bus Drivers


International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) New Zealand affiliates media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday 25 September 2008

Pressure is mounting in support of Wellington bus drivers as major New Zealand transport unions affiliated to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) met today in Wellington and made a statement in support of locked out Wellington bus drivers.
..Read the full press release ( 24Kb)

 

Rail workers call for support for ACC changes (June 17 2008)

The Rail & Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says all political parties should support proposed changes to the ACC scheme to give better support to workers who suffer mental trauma from workplace incidents. Read the full press release. ( 26kB)


Government repurchase of rail and ferry operations great news for rail workers and NZ 

Rail and Maritime Transport Union media release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Monday 5 May 2008 

“Railway workers will be celebrating today’s news of the government’s repurchase of the national rail and ferry operations.  This purchase will see the national railway asset and the “iron bridge” across Cook Strait returned to the people of NZ, and the industry will finally have an owner who has the means to be able to back up the promises for much needed investment,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) General Secretary Wayne Butson said today.

 “The RMTU campaigned long and hard to get the Labour led Government to buy back the rail tracks but we always knew that in order to have the rail industry deliver what this country needs that they couldn’t stop there.  We have all been urging the Government to go the final step to renationalize the network.” 

Mr Butson says that from the day that the National government sold off the SOE NZ Rail Limited to an American led consortium, the lot of rail workers and customers has been down hill in direction. The flavour of the day was to extract the cash, replace it with debt and do just enough to keep it going.

 “Toll purchased the rail business and they have promised new locomotives since they arrived. Years later, not one order for a new locomotive has been placed. It has been ‘paint them up’ in Aussie colours and send it back out into service,"

 “Recent years has seen an exodus of key skilled workers, who were leaving because they didn’t see this industry going anywhere.  Today’s announcement will start to stem the drift.”

 “The RMTU is keen to be a part of the rejuvenation of the NZ rail industry so that it can deliver the safe sustainable transport option demanded by global warming and escalating fuel prices, and we call upon the Government to make strong early statements of investment in new locomotives and wagons.”

 “We know that there will be those who will condemn the Government buy back as a return to the “bad old days”. To them we say look at the record of the SOE from 1987 to 1993, which saw the entity turn into a profitable enterprise.”

 ENDS 

For further information, contact Wayne Butson, General Secretary, RMTU on 0274-962-461.

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