Interislander strike rests on new vote
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 11:27a.m.
Whether Interislander sailings will be disrupted by strike action from Saturday should be known by Wednesday evening, after union members vote on the latest contract offer from KiwiRail.
The Aviation and Marine Engineers Association (AMEA) and Merchant Services Guild members will vote at a series of meetings on Wednesday on whether or not to accept collective contracts.
They have already issued a strike notice for the first week of December after members voted to reject KiwiRail's offer following months of contract negotiations.
KiwiRail responded with a lock-out notice, saying if the services did not sail, union staff would not be paid.
Mediation ended on Monday and AMEA national industrial organiser Stan Renwick told NZ Newswire the contracts would be put to members on Wednesday. Their vote should be known by evening.
KiwiRail says its wage bill is too high for it to be competitive, but the unions say their members will suffer massive pay cuts with what the company has so far offered.
AMEA represents 70 engineering officers and MSG represents 54 deck officers.
If the strike proceeds it will affect about 14,000 passengers, 4000 cars and 1200 rail wagons.
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27/11/2012 5:53:29 p.m.
Its the greedy union few costing jobs for people like you.Kiwirail is losing money and needs to cut back on the union greed like the interislander. Cook Strait is the most expensive water in NZ to cross, much from union greed over decades. Its greed like this which has helped job losses in the rest of Kiwirail, like those in the South Island.When union greed takes more wages for no productivity gain, it is felt elsewhere. Only an idiot thinks businesses can just pay more wages with no effect. Wages are inflationry, and when that no longer works, jobs get cut. Greedy unions prefer unemployment than jobs.The Auckland Maritme union greed cost over $1 billion last year over sociable hours, and the interislander greedy few looking to cost NZ in a similar way.Let the union tell everyone what the average officer on the interislander gets paid, just like they talk about everyone elses wages they should come clean. But the wages are so far out of sync with NZ they wont do this as it would show union greed.
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