KiwiRail workers vote for nationwide strike


Trains and ferries look set for disruption after KiwiRail workers voted overwhelmingly for a nationwide strike.

The industrial action will affect all rail operations, including rail ferries, as well as Auckland and Wellington Metro systems.

Dates of the disruption are not yet known.

Of 1504 returned ballots, almost 95 percent voted yes to the strike.

KiwiRail workers are trying to secure an 8 percent pay rise.

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union said it would be the first full national stoppage of the rail system in New Zealand since 1994.

Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said the decision was not taken lightly, but was a reflection of the strongly held views of rail workers. They were angry and distressed, he said.

"Rail workers have kept the country rolling throughout the pandemic, and as essential workers they want to see recognition of their service ... We know how important rail transport is to the freight logistics supply chain and to Auckland and Wellington commuters, and have not taken this action lightly."