Welcome to National’s economy: Kiwirail has just announced 158 infrastructure and engineering job losses, and this afternoon Solid Energy will probably announce the loss of 300 jobs at Spring Creek, and 200-250 elsewhere. This on top of the swathe of job losses in Huntly and Christchurch Solid Energy announced a month ago.
The Spring Creek miners aren’t going to take it lying down – they march on Parliament tomorrow, to appeal to their bosses bosses: the Government. The workers plan to give their alternate plan to ministers; they accept 70 job losses to save the rest.
Kiwirail desperately needs more infrastructure and engineering work to get our tracks up to speed. Best put by the RMTU’s Wayne Butson:
“We fought hard to save as many jobs we could. With rotting Peruvian sleepers and hundreds of wooden bridges beyond their centenary of service, the last thing KiwiRail should be doing is laying off skilled workers.”
Vital rail work would not get done or would be delayed which would compromise safety and performance, he said.
“We’ll see more temporary speed restrictions in place and a greater potential for derailments and other critical incidents, with customers and staff paying the true cost of the cuts.”
These are both SOEs, that the government could be putting valuable investment into the economy through, doing vital work that is needed – instead they’re being run-down and parts flogged off. Valuable jobs are being lost when the economy can least afford them to be; skilled workers are being lost from Aotearoa to Australia.
Great work National – best we pay more people the dole rather than have productive work done by skilled workers.