Hillside staff are in line to receive two Christmas hampers
before their redundancy takes effect, despite some thinking
they would go without the traditional company hamper, the
Otago Daily Times was told yesterday.
In addition to their KiwiRail hamper, workers will get a
basket containing items donated by businesses and members of
KiwiRail confirmed yesterday all Hillside staff would receive
company Christmas hampers, following some confusion.
A worker yesterday told the ODT that Hillside
management said two weeks ago hampers would not be
distributed this year.
Most of the 110 employees will finish work before Christmas
and officially be made redundant at the end of January.
After hearing the company was not distributing hampers,
Labour's Dunedin South MP, Clare Curran, launched a community
appeal. Last week, she called for donations of hamper items
for Hillside staff, and said yesterday "hundreds" of products
had come in from Dunedin businesses and individuals since the
appeal was launched on November 28.
Ms Curran said at least 90 hampers would be made up and given
to Hillside workers.
Last night, a KiwiRail spokeswoman said there was never a
decision to deny Hillside workers their hampers and the
company did not know why some workers believed they would not
be getting one.
"No-one in management issued that directive, or told workers
they would not be receiving hampers," the spokeswoman said.
In a letter to the editor, KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn
said the process for distributing Christmas hampers to staff
had not changed and there was never any intention for
Hillside workers to miss out.