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Protestors tell government: keep jobs in New Zealand

Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union
Saturday July 9, 2011

Protestors tell government: keep jobs in New Zealand

A big turnout at a Dunedin rally today demonstrates the public are unhappy with the Government’s failure to take responsibility for jobs and skills in this country, the union for rail workers says.

KiwiRail is proposing to cut 70 jobs at workshops in Dunedin and Lower Hutt.

This follows the company’s decision to send both the $500 million rail construction job for the electrification of the Auckland rail network, and the building of 300 new container flat top wagons, to overseas firms, RMTU Acting National Secretary Todd Valster said from Dunedin.

“Over a thousand people took to the streets to hear speakers from the opposition parties, Dunedin City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, Greenpeace and trade unions all calling on the Government and KiwiRail to keep these jobs in New Zealand,” Todd Valster said.

“John Key has said he is in politics to make a difference. Now is his opportunity.”

“Is that difference going to be the devastation of the local economy and community or is he going to step up for working families and do the right thing and direct KiwiRail to scrap their proposal to slash 40 jobs at Hillside workshops?”

“Sometimes the right decision is not the popular decision.”

“The irony is that this time the right decision is would be both popular and correct. Stop exporting our jobs overseas. Start investing in New Zealand industries and jobs,” said Todd Valster.

“We know the Government can and should intervene to save these jobs. We know the people of Dunedin and New Zealand are behind us. All we are asking is that the Government listens,” said Todd Valster.

Ends

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