Wednesday 17th Oct, 2018

Auckland trains to shut down for strike action

CAF AM class train Auckland. Photo: Creative Commons / Dc4444
Photo: Creative Commons / Dc4444

Auckland Transport has warned commuters to make alternate plans on Friday, December 8, due to industrial action planned by New Zealand’s Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

The RMTU, according to multiple local sources, is planning a 24-hour strike from 2am on Friday, to protest operator Transdev’s alleged determination to reduce crew numbers, by making drivers the only staff on the network’s trains.

Quoted by Newshub, RTMU advocate John Kerr said the operator’s plans will sacrifice safety for profits.

“This plan puts passengers and drivers at risk, and the only reason we can see for it is cutting costs and increasing profit,” Kerr was quoted as saying.

“Our members don’t want to inconvenience the public, especially this close to Christmas, but they will not compromise on the safety of passengers or the rail network.”

The strike plan follows similar action by Wellington workers, who left work for 24 hours on November 16 over the same issue.

Auckland Transport told commuters to plan well-ahead to account for the lack of trains on Friday.

“Buses and ferries will continue to run as usual, but we expect them to be much busier,” the transport authority said.

“We also expect more traffic on the roads, so we recommend travelling outside of peak times if possible. Our advice is to plan ahead or carpool if you can.”

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