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Kiwirail and union members show how good collective bargaining can be

Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard extended his congratulations to Kiwirail and Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) members today for reaching a constructive and progressive deal yesterday to lift pay and work in partnership. Mr Huggard says this deal disproves recent scaremongering by employers like the Ports of Tauranga that Multi Employer Collective Agreements hamper business.

“Good employers welcome engagement through bargaining with union members as a way to enhance their business and bring mutual benefits to employers and the people working for them. Kiwirail has just demonstrated how it’s supposed to be done with this settlement, by negotiating across all its sites in good faith and making their employment conditions fairer and more consistent.”

“This is in stark contrast to some voices, like Ports of Tauranga, who have wilfully misrepresented the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, claiming it will deny their employees choice. Their position denies their staff have – nor should have – any agency, voice or mind of their own. That’s stone-age thinking, unbecoming of a large modern employer.”

“The RMTU leadership has said that it is a ‘huge relief’ that they can report Kiwirail is listening to the people who work on the rails and basing fair pay on their real world working systems. This high trust and open model of dialogue between union members and employers should be the norm for employment relationships. Well done to Kiwirail for showing other employers how it should be done – we look forward to seeing the benefits flow through our rail network.”