Economic sabotage costs 90 Hillside jobs

The loss of 90 highly skilled Hillside manufacturing jobs has destroyed livelihoods across Dunedin and is the result of KiwiRail’s blind execution of Government directives, Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran and Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark say.

“The decision to close part of Hillside today is an act of economic sabotage. The consequences will be felt not only by the workers and their families, but by the wider community and businesses as well. Many suppliers and sub-contractors will also lose work because of today’s decision," says Clare Curran.

“This was another of the Government’s ‘done deals’. It has pushed KiwiRail to the brink and KiwiRail’s board let it happen.

“Under this Government there will never be a train built in Dunedin again. This is terrible news for the city.

“There are currently almost 300 rail wagons in New Zealand needing repair. A cost effective proposal put to the KiwiRail board for Hillside to build 100 new wagons was rejected as recently as a month ago. Hillside can do that work but KiwiRail’s board and National don’t want to listen.

“John Key’s claim that there is no manufacturing crisis and that the economy is on the right track will be seen for what it is - one big lie - by the workers made redundant today  

“They know they are just the latest in a 40,000-long line of manufacturing workers who have lost their jobs in the last four years. 

“Mr Key should have stepped in to save Hillside. Instead Kiwis are heading for the dole queue or Australia while overseas workers make our products.

David Clark says: “Labour has always said it would ensure Hillside’s manufacturing capacity is retained in Dunedin. We stand by the Hillside workers who have lost their jobs today. Manufacturing in New Zealand sustains many other jobs in the New Zealand economy, which it is why it so important.

“John Key has let Dunedin and New Zealand down again. But the potential for Hillside to thrive again exists as long as the plant remains.  Only a Labour Government will restore New Zealand’s manufacturing capacity to rebuild our economy.”