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Mass Meeting Condemns KiwiRail Job Cull

Mass Meeting Condemns KiwiRail Job Cull; Calls On Government to Invest In Hillside and Rail Engineering

Over 400 people turned out last night support KiwiRail workers threatened by redundancy in South Dunedin.

The meeting, called by the 'Keep Kiwis Working Campaign' and the RMTU, condemned the KiwiRail's plans to cut 70 jobs at Hillside and in Lower Hutt and called the Government to step in.

"The community support was overwhelming, people know that this just isn't a fight for 40 jobs at Hillside, they know it's a fight for the families, small businesses and the community in this town and elsewhere," said RMTU Organiser John Kerr.

Speakers included David Cull, Mayor of Dunedin; MPs Clare Curran and Metiria Turei; and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Trade Unions, and Greenpeace.

"What is clear is that the politicians, business, the unions and environmentalists all agree on one thing: the plan to slash jobs is bad for Dunedin and bad for New Zealand and the Government needs to step in," John Kerr said.

The meeting unanimously voted in support of a resolution calling on KiwiRail and the Government to abandon its plans and to support Hillside and Railway Engineering.

"We need the Government to listen and that means stepping up the campaign. We're looking at our industrial options and how to build more public support. We'll be putting on a march and a rally and the workers will be getting out there to mobilise support in the community," John Kerr said.

Full Text of Resolution:

This meeting calls upon the NZ government to:

* Direct KiwiRail to abandon its plans to slash jobs at its Hillside and Woburn engineering plants

* To invest in the future of Hillside, Woburn and Rail Engineering in New Zealand with a view to securing and creating high skill, high wage jobs that help build and expand a sustainable rail network

* To legislate for a government procurement policy that ensures all SOEs and other government owned and controlled entities take into account the interests of the wider NZ economy and society in the purchase of goods and services.

Ends.

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