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Commuter rail workers are to go on a two-hour strike in Wellington on Wednesday, protesting what they say are attempts to claw back employee benefits.
The unionised staff of Transdev, a French multinational, and Hyundai Rotem Company will strike between 11am and 1pm, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union says.
"These international companies want local rail workers to surrender many of their hard-won terms and conditions," general secretary Wayne Butson said.
Mr Butson said when the companies took over the rail contract they committed to employing KiwiRail staff on the same or more favourable terms, but now wanted to break that commitment.
"This really is a last resort for our members. They've made their case over and over again, but their employer is set on clawing back as many terms and conditions as possible."
The union says it will be the first time strike action has disrupted rail services in Wellington since 1994.
TransDev spokesperson David Gould has lashed out at the union, saying the company has already agreed to meet with workers without disrupting the train schedules.
"We've been working for months now to develop a process for meeting that doesn't disrupt trains. That means holding meetings on a Saturday. We pay for attendance at those meetings at overtime rates," he said.
"They signed that agreement on the 23rd of August, the pen was still in Wayne Butson's hand and he said right now we're going to ballot through industrial action."
This article first appeared on www.newshub.co.nz
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