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Stopwork to mark last day at Hillside

Friday 21 Dec 2012 5:22a.m.

Stopwork to mark last day at Hillside

Thousands of rail workers will put down their tools for two minutes on Friday as staff at the Hillside workshop mark their last day on the job.

Ninety people are losing their jobs at the Dunedin workshop after KiwiRail said there wasn't enough work to keep the 130-year-old workshops going.

Another 18 people will stay at Hillside's foundry, which has been sold to Bradken Engineering, while seven others will continue to run KiwiRail's heavy lift maintenance operation at Hillside.

To mark the occasion, KiwiRail workers across the country will stop work for two minutes at 11am on Friday.

"Hillside has a very proud history, and rail workers across the country wanted a way to mark the significance of its closure," Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary Wayne Butson said.

Mr Butson said the closure was needless and was in part due to KiwiRail's decision to not bid for either the $500 million contract for Auckland's new trains, or for a contract for 4000 flat top wagons.

"Regrettably, New Zealand's Government is more focused on pumping billions of dollars into roading, and expecting rail to be self-sufficient yet compete with this massive subsidy," he said.

"A giant in the rail industry has fallen."


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