KiwiRail Layoffs Go Ahead


KiwiRail today confirmed that after five weeks of consultation, between 40 and 44 employees at Hillside Workshops will be made redundant.

Hillside staff were informed of the decision this afternoon and have been advised of the next steps, which include a call for voluntary redundancies.

The final decision on who will be selected for redundancy will be made, in consultation with the RMTU, later this month.

KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn calls it “a very difficult  decision.”
“We will provide all the support our staff need to get them through this process. This process includes the opportunity for redeployment to other available positions within KiwiRail.”

“We understand the high level of interest in this decision from the local community, but we cannot afford to employ staff if the work isn’t there to keep them going.”

“It is a fact that the size of the Hillside workforce has always changed according to the amount of work available and the workload there has decreased due to the completion of projects including carriage construction work for Auckland and Wellington.”

RMTU South Island Organiser John Kerr said the move was a direct result of buying rolling stock offshore.

“We’ve been in consultation with KiwiRail for over a month over this and despite saying our input has been “invaluable” the Company has not changed its plan to slash jobs by one jot.  Management say this purge will make Hillside more competitive, yet can’t say how that will occur beyond a litany of platitudes about flexibility.’

‘Ironically, it was us who brought up the productivity topic with them during the consultation process, yet their so called solution is to slash and burn; they can’t even say precisely how many jobs will go from the different divisions of the factory, all they do is give indicative numbers.

“KiwiRail is calling for volunteers to take redundancy, they’ll get some but not enough to fulfil their quota. They say they’ll select the balance for compulsory redundancy using a set of criteria that only allows a worker to score 10% for their core skill, for example welding, and the remaining 90% is on subjectively measured attributes like team work and initiative.’

‘This doesn’t inspire confidence in the people making the decisions.  ‘We can’t find anyone who thinks this is a good idea apart from  KiwiRail management and the Government. The Company has  succeeded in uniting everyone from environmental activists, the local council, the Chamber of Commerce and community campaigners against them.

‘The impact of these job losses goes beyond the 40 plus people who will be redundant at Hillside, the flow on effects to the wider economy are huge – dozens of businesses and hundreds of jobs will be endangered as the jobs cuts bite,’ he said.




  1. BD says:

    A very difficult decision Mr Quinn?, it must be watching all these hard willing works loose their jobs and are unable to support their families, whereas you can afford to drive around in a nice fancy car and live in a nice fancy place on your highly paid wage.

    This could have been handled better? Better actions from Kiwi Rail and the government could have prevented this from happening. We should be creating jobs in NZ not let NZ be sucked dry by other companies wanting to exploit NZ for their resourses such as fossil fuels and then leaving the country no money to carry on.

    It just seems that every company in the world wants to send work overseas, creating less oppertunity in NZ. Kiwi job for Kiwi people yeah right National!

    The government doesn’t give a dam about this happening, they don’t have too suffer from this while they watch this from their muti-million dollar mansion on their cinema screen TV on the news.

  2. KarlHansen says:

    BD, putting this on the TV screen is one of the best ways to make National eat their decisions. Because voters watch TV.

  3. Tim says:

    Sounds like a management fail - Mr Quinn and his team should take a pay cut for the monopoly’s lacklustre and dismal “performance” thus far IMHO. With KiwiRail’s biggest freight customers looking at coastal shipping to deliver the goods, definitely not a business to invest in. A C- grade at best :(


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