Dunedin Railway Workers Issue Notice of Strike Action

Published: Thu 10 Nov 2016 11:59 AM
Rail & Maritime Transport Union 10 November 2016
Dunedin Railway Workers Issue Notice of Strike Action
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.
‘The sticking point is over a fair and reasonable pay increase for our members, a third of whom are paid below the living wage of $19.80 per hour,’ he said.
‘We are claiming a 4% increase in the first year of a two year deal, with a further 2% in the second year. In recent years our members have foregone increases or agreed to pay increases that have barely kept pace with inflation because the post-earthquake downturn in tourism in this region hit Dunedin Railways hard. Now passenger numbers and revenue are increasing, it’s time the Employer did the right thing by the workers’ he said.
‘The difference between us isn’t large, amounting to only one percentage point in the first year for most members,’ he said.
‘Dunedin Railways is wholly owned by Dunedin City Council and we are sure that councillors agree it’s a great little railway that brings a good deal of business to their city. We don’t think it’s right that such a successful publically owned enterprise should pay below the living wage to so many of its employees,’ he said.
‘We have a mandate to issue further strike notices but in the meantime we have a couple of weeks to get around the table with management and thrash out a deal,’ he said.

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