Happy hamper development

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 the public.

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.




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