Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Partial Sale of Hillside Cold Comfort as 90 Jobs Face Axing



Media Release Rail & Maritime Transport Union 15 November 2012

For immediate release

Partial Sale of Hillside Cold Comfort as 90 Jobs Face the Axe

Today’s announcement that KiwiRail has sold off part of Dunedin’s Hillside Railway workshops will be cold comfort to nearly ninety workers who face redundancy says the Rail and Maritime Transport Union.

‘KiwiRail was been trying to sell Hillside since April because ever since last year when the company decided to buy rolling stock overseas the viability of the workshops was thrown into question,’ said RMTU Acting General Secretary Todd Valster.

‘The fact the foundry will remain open under the new owner and is of some solace, and KiwiRail’s decision to retain eight jobs to do heavy lift maintenance on the site makes sense, but the fact is that the closure of the manufacturing facility is a body blow,’ he said.

‘Hillside has a long and proud history of manufacturing railway rolling stock going back 130 years,’ said RMTU Acting General Secretary Todd Valster, ‘it is ironic that even during the worst years of privatisation it managed to survive and keep building trains and yet now it’s in the hands of a National Government it faces closure, he said.

‘Ever since then Transport Minister Steven Joyce went back on his May 2010 promise that Hillside would be building “hundreds of wagons”, the clock has been ticking for Hillside and its workforce.’

‘Hillside is more than just a factory, it is a symbol of what New Zealanders once were – a practical, self-reliant and confident people who built a nation that once had the world’s highest standard of living. This Government has chosen to destroy that heritage’ said Valster.

‘At a time when we have the highest unemployment since the last time they were in power, it is clear that National has no plan for job growth, no strategy for manufacturing and doesn’t care that our most successful export is skilled workers,’ he said.

‘KiwiRail management and the workforce have exhausted every option to try and keep the workshops going but their hands have been tied by a Board that is packed with ideologically driven political appointees who slavishly follow National’s line that people’s livelihoods must be left to the whim of the market,’ he said.

‘John Key, Stephen Joyce, current Transport minister Gerry Brownlee and KiwiRail Board Chairman John Spencer are the guilty men. The politicians will bleat they can have no part in an operational decision by a state owned enterprise - those of us who live in the real world know that’s not true- the decision to stop building rolling stock in New Zealand ultimately rests with the Minister,’ he said.

ENDS For more information contact:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Crown Accounts: Government Ekes Out Six-Month Surplus Of $9M

The New Zealand government eked out a tiny surplus in the first six months of the fiscal year as growth in domestic consumption lifted the goods and services tax take, while uncertainties over the Kaikoura earthquake costs meant expenses were less than expected. More>>

ALSO:

Almost 400 Jobs: Shock At Cadbury's Dunedin Factory Closure

Workers at Cadbury in Dunedin are reeling after learning this morning that the iconic Cadbury factory is to close, with the loss of almost 400 jobs... “The company had reported it was doing well and this has come out of the blue,” says Chas. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Boards Of Inquiry For Auckland Roading Projects

Boards of Inquiry have been appointed to decide on two significant Auckland roading projects in a move which will get a decision by the end of the year, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Three Months On: Quake Reciovery In Kaikōura And Elsewhere

Three months after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake on 14 November, encouraging recovery progress is being made in affected communities. More>>

ALSO:

Jetstar, Qantas For Govt Transport: Government Still In Talks With Air NZ

The government is still negotiating with national carrier Air New Zealand in a cross-agency air travel contract that will add a number of new airlines to the list of approved flyers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news