Stopwork to mark last day at Hillside
Fri, 21 Dec 2012 5:22a.m.
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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21/12/2012 7:55:54 p.m.
Congratulations John Key, You have sold out kiwis and sent work offshore that could have been done here and kept NZers in work. Another of your blunders. But you dont care because as soon as you lose an election youre off to the South of FRance to live off your huge pension that kiwis have paid for with sweat and tears.
21/12/2012 5:25:42 p.m.
It's not the Unions giving MP's a 6 month backdated payrise while these (and other) workers face a bleak Christmas.
It's not the Unions who endorsed sending work offshore when it could've been done in New Zealand, and ensuring better quality.
If 'working with business' means overlooking the opportunities presented in favour in overseas contracts, then it's no surprise the Unions would be opposed. It's got nothing to do with unsustainable perks. Everything to do with preserving local value, and avoiding the flow on costs of redundancy.
But will we see MP's 'raising productivity' to justify their backdated payrise? An acknowledgement that ordinary Kiwis have been told to 'tighten their belts'? No.
If this is taxpayers money being used, there is no defence of this payrise that does not also apply to other workers. Hillside is not the only example.
Try the reported queues for foodbanks a few days out from Christmas. Are you going to blame that on the Unions? What a ridiculous position.
21/12/2012 1:04:29 p.m.
The unions have helped make KiwiRail the uneconomic dog it is today through decades of unsustainable wage rises built on union industrial action.#1 blame of the job losses should fall on the unions.Unions need to work with business as sucessful business give job security and higher productivity gives wage growth.NZ has some of the least productive union labour in the world, and look where NZ is doing well, and we have the least union Labour. This is why unions have a bad name. Take the interislander which is one of the most expensive run ferry services in the world, built on decades of ransoming NZ for unsustainable perks. These excessive perks cost jos - like Hillside.Unions should look at what is needed to keep jobs, and if it is more productivity vs job losses, they should be prepared to raise productivity. Unions keep chosing job losses over working with business, as unemployment benefits are so much better for its members to live on.
21/12/2012 10:12:43 a.m.
This happens as the Remunerations Authority gave MP's a pay rise.
This talk about a global financial crisis must be all a beat-up.
In the lead-up to Christmas, the Hillside workers are likely to take little comfort in a pay rise for MP's.
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