Passenger Rail, Workforce, Certification & Training

Aucklanders facing strike delays over big weekend

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

Four major events are set to suffer from a reduced frequency of services on the Auckland rail network, as unions continue industrial action as part of a dispute over plans for driver-only trains.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union workers are imposing a ban on overtime until at least March 16, as part of its campaign against Auckland Transport’s reported proposal to run driver-only services, which would add opening and closing train doors to the driver’s list of responsibilities.

“Transdev and Auckland Transport aren’t budging on a driver-only operation, which will severely compromise passenger safety,” RMTU organiser John Kerr was quoted this week.

“With train managers on every train, the public can feel safe knowing a skilled, uniformed member of staff is never far away. An overtime ban will affect services, so we hope management will start listening.”

Auckland is readying itself for a busy weekend, with a Super Rugby matchup between the Blues and the Chiefs set for Friday night, the Auckland City Limits music festival on Saturday, the popular Lantern Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and the Round the Bays run closing roads on Sunday morning.

“Public transport will be very busy and train services will limited due to industrial action by members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union,” Auckland Transport warned passengers this week.

“Plan ahead, leave early and consider options like carpooling, walking or riding a bike.”

The warring sides are set to meet again next Monday, March 5, to attempt to put an end to the industrial action.