Laid off staff should have been in line for rail work

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

Labours Transport Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says it is ironic that KiwiRail is seeking contractors to carry out work on rotten sleepers considering it is laying off 181 track maintenance workers.Iain Lees-Galloway
Transport Spokesperson

24 June 2013

Laid off staff should have been in line for rail work

Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says it is ironic that KiwiRail is seeking contractors to carry out work on rotten sleepers considering it is laying off 181 track maintenance workers.

“KiwiRail has informed staff that it is developing an Expression of Interest (EOI) document for sleeper inspection services citing data that suggests it is unlikely the company has the in-house resources to complete the task.

“The announcement comes less than a year after more than 180 staff were told they were being made redundant because of a supposed lack of work. Now expensive contractors are being called in to do work that KiwiRail knew was required when the redundancies were announced.

“This just shows how much the Government’s unrealistic Turn Around Plan for rail, which lead to the job cuts as well as deferred maintenance, is hampering a successful company that is growing strongly.

“Given the attacks on workers’ rights the National Party has launched in recent weeks, I am guessing the Government hopes this latest move will increase the use of casual, non-unionised labour.

“KiwiRail isn’t just responsible for running trains on time, it is also responsible for building and maintaining a safe rail network. That is a core function it should not need to contract out.

The Turn Around Plan must allow KiwiRail to retain the resources it needs to build and maintain its network. If the Government can throw $12 billion at uneconomic monster motorways it can help revitalise our beleaguered railways.”

ENDS

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