Joe Hendren

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Lots of hits from the information superrailway

Been getting a lot of hits on my website this week. 26 on Monday, 37 on Tuesday and 19 yesterday. Most appear to be linking to the critique I wrote in July of the Toll rail deal.

While this deal did bring the rail track back into public ownership it effectively left the railways in the hands of an almost complete private monopoly until 2070. The article also demonstrates that the Government missed many (cheap) opportunities to bring the whole of the railways back into public ownership and the long drawn out negotiations with Toll held up track improvments, as Cullen was forced in the 2004 budget to transfer $30M of funding for track upgrades from last financial year to this financial year.

With so many hits on my rail article I could not help but be nosey as to where the referrals were coming from. It appears a link to my article was included in a message on LocoBoard: NZ Locomotive Engineers / RMTU members email group. Very pleased to discover that. If any of you guys and gals have any feedback on my article that would be very welcome.

Although Toll have only been in NZ for a couple of years they have already gained a reputation for arrogant union busting attitudes to industrial relations, especially when it comes to existing collective contracts. On that note I would like to wish both the RMTU and the Maritime Union 'good luck' and 'good speed' for their negotiations with Toll this year.

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