No shorts or beanies for new train uniform
Shorts and beanies have been outlawed for rail staff on Wellington’s commuter network as new operator Transdev strives for a sleeker, more professional look for uniforms.
But the sartorial sanctions are not sitting well with the Rail and Maritime Union, which represents many of the staff members.
There were also complaints that the new uniforms were not warm enough as winter began to bite.
Transdev is refusing to budge, and union general secretary Wayne Butson has said the matter is not over.
Transdev Australasia took over operations at the start of this month after it was chosen for the Wellington network by Greater Wellington Regional Council, and is operating in place of the KiwiRail-owned Tranz Metro.
The passenger rail network services Wellington, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Kapiti and Wairarapa.
Retired Wellington train driver Bill Isted said shorts should be kept on as an option for drivers.
The new uniforms had a ‘‘very flimsy look’’ and it was ‘‘shocking’’ that staff were not allowed to stay snug in beanies.
‘‘They’re really not looking after the guys. They’re going to absolutely freeze,’’ he said.
However, Transdev Wellington chief operating officer Alan Bannister said reaction to the uniforms had been overwhelmingly positive.
‘‘Staff say the uniforms are fresh and smart, and they feel good wearing them. Customers think they look modern and professional.’’
Shorts had been banned because of safety issues in a rail- way environment, while beanies had been replaced with a cheese cutter hat. Gloves would also be available to staff on request.
‘‘The majority of our staff now work on the modern, fully heated and air-conditioned Matangi units,’’ Bannister said.
‘‘Thermals are not standard issue, but will be available as part of the clothing catalogue in the uniform programme.’’
The train staff uniform from new operator Transdev