Rail Workers’ Historic Agreement


Rail workers have today signed a historic document with KiwiRail which brings all landbased workers together in a single collective employment agreement.

Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. recalled how in 2002,  rail workers’ employment was outsourced to several different companies by a desperate - for - money Tranz Rail.

“Today is an exciting day for the more than 3,600 workers who are now finally back on the same core terms and conditions within the same collective agreement,” he said .

Wayne Butson said that a ‘best of the best’ methodology was used to combine the four collective employment agreements, which meant that the highest rate for any particular group of worker in any of the previous agreements formed the new rate for that job within the business.

A minimum increase of 2% was negotiated for all workers, with some workers getting up to 5.8%.

“Rail is an essential industry for New Zealand, and as oil prices increase overtime rail’s contribution to the national transport supply chain will become increasingly important.”

“Well trained and well paid rail workers are the cornerstone of this, and we are celebrating today’s agreement which unites the rail workforce,” Wayne Butson said.




  1. karl says:

    Good stuff. After the hobbit saga, it’s good to hear some good union-related stories again.

  2. antz says:


    AGREED this hobbit saga couldn’t finish soon enough!

  3. Scott says:

    Im never going to join a union in my life. If I don’t feel my terms of employment are good enough I will quit individually.

    I don’t want to be associated with anything like this:


  4. karl says:

    Scott, shows how little you know about how much of your current advantages in labor law have been due to unions. Kiss goodbye to 90% of your security and go back to 1850s? Sounds like a rather dubious idea to me.

    And your argument about quitting individually rings hollow in any situation where you are offered the choice between staying on at crappy conditions, or leaving to face unemployment.

    The storyyou linked had nothing in it that would support any union bashing. You’ve just made up your mind a long time ago.

  5. Scott says:

    Karl, I wasn’t trying to bash unions. I can see there purpose in fields of monopolized employment opportunities.

    I have attempted to keep my education as broad as possible to prevent the situation of being trapped by a monopoly employer. I consider striking to be an extremely inefficient system of negotiating conditions. It hurts the workers, and the employer.

    You are correct I have no idea about labor law history. I have always been put onto temporary contracts when I have worked for large employers. This gives me very little security anyway. I was happy to sign that contract as some work is better than no work.

    Don’t worry. I don’t have a problem with yourself and others joining unions. Im just not going to myself.


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