Call for Dunedin business to support Hillside Xmas hamper appeal

Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran has today launched an appeal for Dunedin businesses to donate Christmas hamper items for the Hillside workers who are about to lose their jobs.

“The Hillside workforce has received a Christmas hamper as a good will gesture ever year – until now.

This year none of the workers - most of whom will be leaving Hillside before December 25 - will be receiving a hamper, with local KiwiRail management deciding to do away with the tradition to save money.

“Not only is this very scrooge-like behaviour from KiwiRail, it couldn’t come at a worse time for those demoralised workers and their families. It’s a hugely stressful time for all of them.

“Even those who are keeping their jobs have been affected by the uncertainty over the last six months as they waited to hear whether Hillside would be sold or shut down.

“So, after discussion with some of the workers I have agreed to launch an appeal and I’m now asking city businesses and organisations to get behind it.

“No-one in Dunedin wants Hillside to close. This is one thing we can do to show our support for this once strong and proud manufacturing rail workshop.

“The first redundancies are understood to be happening on Friday 7 December, with  most of the 90 workers losing their jobs expected to be made redundant before Christmas.

“Those businesses wishing to provide Christmas hamper items can contact my office on Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

“I am sure our community spirit will come to the fore.”