Bad Timing


Talk about cruel. Just hours after Dunedin KiwiRail workers will this afternoon find out the fate of their jobs, the first shipload of rail wagons that is causing their redundancies will roll off the boat in Tauranga.

KiwiRail is proposing to cut 70 jobs at workshops in Dunedin and Lower Hutt, following their decision to purchase Auckland’s new electric trains and 300 new container flat top wagons from overseas firms, rather than have them built locally.

The ship carrying the first of the Chinese built flat top wagons is expected to arrive in Tauranga at 10 pm tonight, subject to shipping time and discharge occurring.

It will be met by a noisy picket of local rail and port workers when they are delivered to the Norske Skog site in Mount Maunganui, Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson said.

“All rail workers in New Zealand are united in their anger that good jobs in our industry are being lost overseas, because of a lack of action from government and KiwiRail,” he said.

“KiwiRail has the capacity in Dunedin and Lower Hutt, it has a workforce dead keen to do the work, and it has a solid economic case for local involvement.”

“Now, because of KiwiRail’s decision to buy rolling stock made overseas, 70 rail construction jobs, and associated engineering industries in Dunedin and Lower Hutt, are at risk.”

Wayne Butson said he was also concerned that Transport Minister Steven Joyce was deflecting responsibility for these job cuts

“2,000 Greenpeace members emailed Steven Joyce protesting the building of the flat top wagons overseas. They urged him to intervene to save local jobs. Despite this, it was KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn who contacted Greenpeace.

“If Steven Joyce gets 2000 emailing him in protest, why isn’t he responding? If he is prepared to direct KiwiRail to front this, he can direct KiwiRail to keep these jobs in New Zealand also.”
Last weekend over a thousand people attended a Dunedin rally calling for more train building work in New Zealand.

Last weekend's protest |Paul Allen

Rail Union members at KiwiRail will boycott CEO Jim Quinn’s national ‘roadshow’ when it arrives at Carisbrook in Dunedin this morning, staging a ‘work in’ at the Hillside rail engineering factory.





You can be the first one to leave a comment.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>