I almost missed this little gem from a couple of days ago:
Govt urged KiwiRail to keep workshops open
The Government leaned on KiwiRail to stop it closing the Hillside workshops but the company couldn’t find a way to keep them open, Prime Minister John Key says.
The government leaned on KiwiRail. Leaned on them (is that even appropriate)? If only, instead of “leaning” on KiwiRail, the government had done something useful, like, say, I don’t know, sent them some business. Used the skills, experience, and talent of Hillside. If only the government had been able to do that.
The government could have sent a big contract to Hillside. Instead they decided to pay bargain basement prices for bargain basement quality and bugger the bigger picture. They can’t really complain to anyone when KiwiRail plays the same short-term bottom-line game then can they. Hypocrites.
Meanwhile, as is so often the case, the workers give the bosses a lesson in humanity:
Show of solidarity in job offers for Hillside workers
In a demonstration of solidarity, older KiwiRail workers are offering their jobs to redundant Hillside employees and electing to retire.
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) was facilitating discussion between the 90 workers facing redundancy at Hillside and KiwiRail staff elsewhere in New Zealand who have offered to retire.
RMTU South Island organiser John Kerr said a KiwiRail worker in Christchurch, another in Invercargill and a few in the North Island were willing to exchange places with those made redundant from the South Dunedin workshops.
He said the older workers were close to retirement age and felt it was more important for “younger blokes” to be employed.
“It’s quite gratifying in a way. It shows the depth of solidarity among KiwiRail employees. Rail workers stick together and there is a lot of support from our members throughout the country for Hillside workers,” Mr Kerr said.
Here’s a salute to the workers who are going early to help others keep their jobs. It won’t help many, but it will help a few. Here’s commiserations to the 90 who have just lost their jobs – an early Christmas present from the National government. It’s another sad chapter in the ongoing collapse of manufacturing in NZ. A particularly bitter chapter, because it didn’t have to be this way.