Hillside Workshops. Photo by ODT.
Any hope of further jobs being saved at Hillside is gone,
following KiwiRail's confirmation yesterday all but 25 staff
have been made redundant.
Workers had harboured a remote hope the state-owned
enterprise could retain one or two more jobs than the seven
it proposed to keep for Hillside's heavy-lift capability.
In addition, Bradken planned to employ 18 Hillside workers in
its acquisition of the foundry.
The 110-strong workforce gathered to hear KiwiRail mechanical
engineering group general manager Clive Cooper-Smith confirm
the company's redundancy proposal at a meeting on site
KiwiRail has selected 20 staff to work through the transition
phase of closing the rest of Hillside, which was expected to
take a few months.
Of the remaining workers, 30 would finish on Friday and 35 on
They will be paid until the end of January, then receive
KiwiRail will also consider voluntary redundancy from any
employees within the company who have jobs consistent with
those at Hillside, and will ring-fence any such vacancies for
applications by Hillside staff.
Rail and Maritime Transport Union South Island organiser John
Kerr said the union had fought hard for reasonable redundancy
packages and alternative employment opportunities for
About half-a-dozen KiwiRail employees from throughout New
Zealand, who were close to retirement age, had expressed a
desire to take redundancy in order for Hillside workers to
have their jobs, he said.
The union and KiwiRail would look into whether the offers
suited anyone at Hillside.
KiwiRail had provided good redundancy packages for all
Hillside staff and the few who had been at the South Dunedin
facility for three or four decades would receive about the
equivalent of a year's wages, Mr Kerr said.
"That's at the top end of redundancy packages, but even those
who have worked there about five years will be receiving a
five-figure redundancy," he said.
Mr Kerr said new owner Bradken was expected to tell workers
tomorrow who it planned to employ at the foundry.
Other redundant staff were considering a variety of options.
Labour's Dunedin South MP Clare Curran said yesterday's
redundancy confirmation was not a surprise, but it was still