Topic: Transport

Train strike causes service disruptions

By Leah Te Whata
  • Auckland

Auckland Transport has increased carrying capacity to ease disruptions to train services caused by the industrial action that's currently being taken by rail workers.

Many train commuters are supporting rail workers in their bid to keep train managers on Auckland train services, despite disruptions caused by their strike.

Regular commuters share their thoughts on the proposal to reduce staff on Auckland trains:

"I think that not having train managers won’t be really good for us."

"Anyone that needs assistance, stuff like that, they can't do it themselves.  It's good to have support, especially on public transport. So yeah, I absolutely support the strike."

"I hope [striking staff] win, don't take too long with the strikes, so we can catch the train, more people are dependent on the trains than you think."

Rail and Maritime Union spokesperson Rudd Hughes says losing train managers would put pressure on drivers who will have to operate the doors and work overtime.

"The driver won't get any rest so fatigue may become an issue," says Hughes, "That's a real problem when you're driving a train. You don't want to be exhausted. We feel the locomotive engineers are at risk- by them being at risk, the public's also at risk". 

The employer, Transdev, is contracted by Auckland Transport. 

Managing Director Michel Ladrak says the industrial action is unnecessary as the 170 train managers will be replaced by 230 transport officers and they've also offered a no-redundancy package.

Ladrak says, "I think this is premature, it isn't really necessary.  It's hurting Auckland customers and it's hurting our own staff because some of our staff actually like working a little bit of overtime."

Both parties are meeting next Wednesday.  The outcome of the meeting will determine whether or not further industrial action will be taken.