Commuters are displaying an outpouring of support for rail workers after news of strike action on Wellington’s trains was announced last night.
In a Facebook post the local union affiliates council, Unions Wellington, put out an appeat for solidarity at 6:30pm.
The response was electric. Since it was made more than $500 has been donated, dozens of messages of support have been sent in, and the post has been shared more than 130 times.
“The response has been amazing,” says Unions Wellington Convenor Ben Peterson.
“Transdev and the Regional Council are trying to play commuters off against railway staff, but it clearly isn’t working. Wellingtonians are making financial donations and sending moral support to the striking workers because they understand this is a brave decision taken as a last resort.”
Despite the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s attempt to distance itself from the dispute, Ben notes that they are ultimately responsible for the actions of their contractors.
“We urge anyone inconvenienced by Thursday’s strike to call the regional council, and insist they pressure Transdev to offer a fair deal to staff members. Ultimately, the buck stops with the Regional Council.”
Unions Wellington activists are preparing for a strong campaign in defence of workers’ rights in the days ahead.
“This is just our initial response,” says Ben.
“If this becomes a prolonged dispute we will take further steps.”