Driver-only operations triggers rail strike

Around 3,500 Auckland commuters are expected to be affected today as rail workers go on strike.

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union are protesting against a decision by Auckland Transport to introduce driver-only operations on trains.

Union advocate John Kerr says losing on-board crews could increase the risk of an accident and compromise not only the driver’s safety but the passengers as well. Under the new proposal, train drivers have the added responsibility to monitoring door operations and passengers.

The Transdev Managing Director Michel Ladrak defended his company's approach saying the drivers would not operate alone. Māori Wardens are still available after 7:00pm, Transport Officers are available for incidents and security officers will still be present at platforms.

No trains will be operating from 2am on Friday until 2am on Saturday because of industrial action. Around 200 people are expected lose their jobs.