Kiwirail says it has re-employed 17 staff made redundant from
Hillside, of whom 11 remain working for the state-owned
enterprise in Dunedin.
Last November about 90 Hillside Engineering Workshops
employees were made redundant in the South Dunedin facility's
partial closure, after KiwiRail failed to find a buyer for
That followed the redundancy of about 40 Hillside staff in
KiwiRail vowed to give redundant Hillside workers priority in
applying for other jobs within the company, as long as their
skills matched those required.
This week a KiwiRail spokeswoman said such successful
applicants included 11 redundant Hillside workers who were
given other jobs in Dunedin, and a further six recently
deployed outside the city.
They were working in a variety of positions at the company's
premises in Tauranga, Auckland, Christchurch and Lower Hutt,
KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said dealings with
redundant Hillside workers since November had been ''very
constructive'' and redeployments followed a ''fair process''.
There was a high level of co-operation between KiwiRail and
the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) to assist
affected staff as much as possible, Mr Quinn said.
Other KiwiRail staff throughout New Zealand had also shown
their support to Hillsiders.
When the partial closure of Hillside was announced, seven
KiwiRail workers - including one from Dunedin - offered to
take voluntary redundancy in order for redundant Hillside
workers to have their jobs.
Hillside's RMTU representatives were also given the
opportunity, along with other redundant workers, to apply for
any vacant KiwiRail jobs.
KiwiRail said one of Hillside's redundant RMTU
representatives was redeployed; another two did not apply for
other jobs within the company and a fourth was offered a
position but turned it down.
A fifth union representative made redundant from Hillside was
not successful in applying for another KiwiRail job.
KiwiRail also retained a small ''transition'' team of
Hillside staff at the workshops, to see operations wound
''The transition team is responsible for finishing current
projects, assisting with the transfer of work to Hutt
Workshops and closing down parts of the Hillside site no
longer required,'' the KiwiRail spokeswoman said.
Those workers were due to be made redundant within the next
couple of months, when all that work had been completed.
In addition, about 18 Hillside foundry workers were employed
by international firm Bradken, which has leased the Hillside
foundry from KiwiRail and planned to move its Dunedin
operations to the Hillside Rd site.
RMTU South Island organiser John Kerr said he was handling
half a dozen grievance claims against KiwiRail made by
redundant Hillside staff.
Most union members made redundant from Hillside had received
what they were entitled to, he said, but ''half a dozen''
others were pursuing legal claims in relation to their job
losses, the details of which were sub judice.
Mr Kerr said the union had little option but to co-operate
with KiwiRail in assisting redundant Hillside workers.
''It's fair to say the process was co-operative, but of
course the difference for us is it's very hard to be anything
other than co-operative when the industrial relations system
doesn't give you any options for fighting redundancy,'' he
KiwiRail would neither disclose the total value of Hillside
redundancy packages, nor the cost of partly closing the South