Over 400 to strike Thursday, grinding Wellington's commuter trains to a halt




Wellington's commuter trains won't be running Thursday because more than 400 workers are going on strike.

Workers employed by Transdev Wellington and Hyundai Rotem on Wellington's passenger rail network have voted overwhelmingly in favour of stopping work for 24 hours from 2am on Thursday, the Rail and Maritime Union says.

Secretary Wayne Butson said that meant commuter trains in Wellington and Wairarapa could not operate.

This will be the first industrial action since 1994 to affect the Wellington rail system for longer than two hours, he says.

"We've been trying to negotiate with Transdev and Hyundai since May this year and they've stalled every single step of the way," he says.

The companies are trying to remove long-standing terms and conditions in the collective agreement, he says.

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers," says Mr Butson.

"We all regret the disruption this will cause for Wellington commuters, and we encourage them to ask the regional council, and their mayors, some hard questions about why big international companies are being allowed to run down good Wellington jobs."

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