Government goes off the rails with 'green collar' job cuts

Press release - June 22, 2011
Auckland June 22 2011: Greenpeace announced today that it supports the Keep Kiwis Working and the Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) campaigns to save 41 workers at the Hillside rail plant in Dunedin from losing their jobs.

“The jobs being made redundant at Hillside are a great example of ‘green collar’ jobs – a sector that New Zealand should be expanding, not sending offshore, if we want sustainable employment and economic prosperity,” says Greenpeace NZ’s Michael Tritt.

“The world is turning increasingly to public transport as an important part of the solution to rising oil prices and climate change. The kind of jobs and skills they want to cut at Hillside are going to be in growing demand in the 21st century.

“It’s another major step in the wrong direction under Transport Minister Steven Joyce’s watch.  Having recently refused to fund Auckland’s central rail tunnel the Government’s failure to intervene to save the Hillside workshop cuts will only lock this country into an even greater dependence on oil, along with all the negative downstream social, economic and environmental costs.

“Again the Government is showing a blatant unwillingness to support those local industries that could be a part of a multi-billion dollar clean economic transformation, while it is falling over itself to subsidise high-risk exploration for fossil fuels and build unnecessary new motorways.

Michael Tritt and others from Greenpeace will attend the public meeting tonight (Wednesday 22 June) in Dunedin hosted by the Keep Kiwis Working Campaign and the RMTU.  The meeting begins at 7.00 p.m. at the Cargill Enterprises Hall, 199 Hillside Rd, Dunedin.