Speakers ready to support Hillside

Hillside Engineering project supervisor Ward Kellett (left) and site manager Kevin Kearney watch...
Hillside Engineering project supervisor Ward Kellett (left) and site manager Kevin Kearney watch boiler-maker Andrew Hoogland at work rebuilding railcars for the Auckland Regional Transport Authority. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Speakers are lining up to support the Save Hillside jobs campaign at a public rally in the Octagon today.

Rally organisers are hoping for a big turnout from Dunedin residents as they campaign against proposed job cuts at Hillside Engineering, a cornerstone of the city's engineering industry.

The Save Hillside campaign was launched in response to a proposal from KiwiRail last month to cut 70 jobs from its nationwide rail manufacturing and maintenance operation, with Hillside scheduled to be the hardest hit, losing up to 40 jobs.

KiwiRail bosses are about to begin their final deliberations to decide which Hillside jobs are likely to go, after a consultation period with the employees and union delegates closed yesterday.

"We will consider all information, finalise our decision based on that input and then advise our people of the result," chief executive Jim Quinn said.

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull said he would speak out at the rally against the Hillside job cuts, which are being proposed by KiwiRail.

The restrictive view being shown by the Government was contrary to the traditional models of economic development, he said.

Otago Chamber of Commerce chairman Peter McIntyre said the loss of 40 jobs would have a multiplier effect on "downstream" businesses and the South Dunedin community.

Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran said it was Government policy which had dictated KiwiRail's decision.



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