Speakers ready to support Hillside

Jim QuinnSpeakers are lining up to support the Save Hillside jobs campaign at a public rally in the Octagon today.

Rally organisers are hoping for a big turnout from Dunedin residents as they campaign against proposed job cuts at Hillside Engineering, a cornerstone of the city's engineering industry.

The Save Hillside campaign was launched in response to a proposal from KiwiRail last month to cut 70 jobs from its nationwide rail manufacturing and maintenance operation, with Hillside scheduled to be the hardest hit, losing up to 40 jobs.

KiwiRail bosses are about to begin their final deliberations to decide which Hillside jobs are likely to go, after a consultation period with the employees and union delegates closed yesterday.

"We will consider all information, finalise our decision based on that input and then advise our people of the result," chief executive Jim Quinn said.

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull said he would speak out at the rally against the Hillside job cuts, which are being proposed by KiwiRail.

The restrictive view being shown by the Government was contrary to the traditional models of economic development, he said.

Otago Chamber of Commerce chairman Peter McIntyre said the loss of 40 jobs would have a multiplier effect on "downstream" businesses and the South Dunedin community.

Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran said it was Government policy which had dictated KiwiRail's decision.



Labour MP Clare Curran

Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran said it was Government policy which had dictated KiwiRail's decision.

I hope that Labour MP Clare Curran was referring to the Labour Govt's policies of free trade with China that Labour set up and is of which had dictated Kiwi Rail's decision to save much needed capital and buy cheaper goods from China and unfortunately creating the need for 40 or so less staff.

Not only has Labours Free Trade Agreement with China  created the situation of the looming staff cuts solely at Hillside workshops but also the same staff cutting  situation has arisen at many New Zealand manufacturing companies.



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