The Alliance Party says the announced closure of Hillside railway workshops cannot be justified on cost grounds at the same time as KiwiRail is pumping cash into corporate salaries. Continue reading
The Alliance Party is appalled but unsurprised at KiwiRail’s announcement that they are to close Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops, making 90 workers redundant.
“We don’t accept this decision,” says Alliance Party co leader and former South Dunedin candidate Kay Murray.
Ms Murray says the Government must intervene right now to demand that KiwiRail keep Hillside workshop open and build their rolling stock there.
She says it is not too late to save Hillside if the political will is there. Continue reading
It is time to accept that rail is an essential public service, necessary to build communities and facilitate industries. Rail is there to serve the public good. It will never be a cash cow, according to Alliance co-leader Kay Murray. Ms Murray says “What KiwiRail needs to be is a high quality accessible rail network that moves both people and freight safely and efficiently.” Continue reading
The announcement of the sale of the century old Hillside Workshops is not good news, despite the spin from politicians and KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn. Continue reading
The Alliance Party says Friday 15 July is a shameful day for New Zealand, as a shipment of Chinese built railway wagons are unloaded in Tauranga, less than twenty four hours after it was announced over 40 wagon builders at Hillside workshops will be made redundant. Continue reading
The Alliance Party has highlighted how the person seeking to solve unemployment on behalf of the Government, is also on the Board of Directors of KiwiRail, whose recent decisions have led to the loss of skilled jobs.
The Alliance Party says today’s announcement of 41 job losses at Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops is the result of a “great betrayal” of New Zealand by John Key and his National Government.
Alliance Party spokesperson Trevor Hanson says the announcement of 41 job losses at Hillside was the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister and his policies.
The Alliance Party says KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn and the silent Minister of Transport Steven Joyce may not think New Zealand can handle such a large engineering contract as the building of Auckland’s new electric trains – but New Zealand workers are absolutely certain that they can do the job.
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says a rally of rail engineering workers in Dunedin this week showed that the skills, motivation and community support were there.
All that is lacking is corporate leadership and political leadership from a National Government.
National has failed the tens of thousands of workers who have lost jobs since John Key came to office, and are now effectively forcing hundreds of millions of dollars of rail engineering contracts out of the country.
The Alliance is urging New Zealanders to support the Rail and Maritime Transport Union campaign to build rolling stock in New Zealand which has attracted widespread support in the community (http://www.rmtunion.org.nz/articles/article-building-rolling-stock-in-nz.php)
“It is not acceptable to send $500 million of taxpayers money out of the country when jobs are needed and communities are struggling. It is not acceptable to deny New Zealanders work and all the flow on effects keeping Kiwis in work would bring.”
Over 1700 workers recently applied for 170 jobs at a new Bunnings store in Dunedin, indicating the seriousness of the unemployment crisis affecting many regions of New Zealand – a crisis that the Government will not even acknowledge.
Ms Murray says the $500 million contract has turned into a debacle with local workers denied the opportunity to use their skills.
Phase Two “Expressions of Interest” closes at the end of this week, but KiwiRail’s own workshops Hillside and Hutt Valley are forbidden to participate.
The people of New Zealand own KiwiRail and we must insist that our public rail system must not give public money to overseas corporations when we can do the job ourselves.
The Alliance says the chickens are coming home to roost as successive Government’s have gambled and lost on free trade dogma that has undermined our industry.