CTU Media Release
10 July 2012
Government causing more job losses than they create
News this morning of up to 220 job losses at Kiwirail because of cost cutting measures is indicative of how this government views investment in jobs and infrastructure said Helen Kelly, CTU President.
Helen Kelly says “Kiwirail should be investing in infrastructure and at this time of high unemployment New Zealand can get a triple benefit – infrastructure, jobs and economic stimulus. Rail transport needs to be more of a competitive option for freight in New Zealand, for that to happen we need to maintain a safe and viable rail network.”
“Reports that Kiwirail has reassessed its infrastructure and engineering business section and plans to reduce spending by $200 million from $950 million to $750 million in the next three years is ridiculous given the economics of doing this work now. One Government department will lay off workers and create a legacy of poor quality infrastructure while another Government department will have to step in and pay benefits to workers that lose their jobs – it simply does not make economic or social sense.”
“This announcement this morning follows from the government buying rolling stock from China earlier in the year, rather than building them here. It further shows this government attitude towards investing in kiwi workers. We maintain that the Government needs to review its procurement policies so that New Zealand firms get a fair chance to bid for major manufacturing projects.”
“There are over 160 000 people unemployed in New Zealand right now. These jobs are good jobs doing necessary work with long term benefits – you can’t ask for more. New Zealanders want a country where work is available and useful. They want a Government that understands that and becomes part of the solution not the problem,” said Helen Kelly.