KiwiRail expected to give job-cut numbers today

KiwiRail management is today expected to announce a final decision on the number of jobs it will cut, at a meeting with delegates of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) in Wellington.

The state-owned enterprise earlier indicated it would cut 181 jobs from its infrastructure and engineering division in order to save $14 million, with the possibility of further job losses next year.

RMTU South Island organiser John Kerr said he and other union delegates from throughout New Zealand expected to be told this morning how many jobs KiwiRail planned to cut.

He said about 75 infrastructure and engineering employees had indicated voluntary redundancy, but it was possible some would get "cold feet".

"There's a significant shortfall, given the potential 181 redundancies."

He expected KiwiRail to have revised its number of job cuts and hoped it would be fewer than 181.

KiwiRail had about 45 infrastructure and engineering workers in Dunedin. The company planned to cut 43 jobs throughout the South Island.

Last month, Mr Kerr told the ODT the jobs of 16 Dunedin staff were on the "chopping block".

The staff included track maintenance workers, communications staff and structure inspectors.

KiwiRail is taking longer than expected to negotiate the sale of South Dunedin's Hillside Engineering Workshops.

It initially planned to make a sale announcement at the end of August.

A spokeswoman said the company was still undertaking due diligence in respect of potential buyers.

Last month, a leaked KiwiRail report suggested Hillside Workshops would be closed if not sold.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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