Rail Workers “Gutted”


Rail workers say they’re “gutted” by KiwiRail’s decision to not bid for the construction of Auckland’s new electric trains, and are appealing now to the Prime Minister.

The unions label the announcement “ defeatism at its worst.”

KiwiRail has $500 million for new electric multiple units and locomotives for Auckland, and economics consultancy BERL estimated last week that local construction of these would add between 770 to 1270 additional jobs and $232 to $250 million to GDP.

This afternoon, KiwiRail’s CEO visited Dunedin’s Hillside workshop and delivered the bad news - the trains will definitely be built overseas.

“KiwiRail’s decision is a slap in the face to hundreds of skilled rail workers in Dunedin and Lower Hutt,” Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

“It seems there are only two people in New Zealand who think that the Hillside and Woburn workshops can’t build these trains – KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn and Steven Joyce.

Everyone else believes that the work should stay in New Zealand.

“Rail workers are keen to do this work, and the economic case backs them up.This is defeatism at its worst.

“We are now calling on the Prime Minister to consider the national interest in this decision and take all steps possible to ensure this work is done locally.”





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