Staff face KiwiRail cutbacks
Blenheim's 10 KiwiRail track workers will find out this week whether they are among the 181 staff the state-owned enterprise is to make redundant.
Of those 181, 43 are to be made redundant across the South Island. KiwiRail said about 10 staff who are being considered for redundancy work in Blenheim at the Spring Creek depot.
Chief executive Jim Quinn said yesterday that KiwiRail would tell its infrastructure and engineering staff this week where the proposed reductions could be made by location and specific role.
“To achieve the reduction in numbers required, we are requesting expressions of interest in voluntary redundancy, ” he said.
“It is hoped that the required numbers will be achieved via this process and reports to date suggest some staff have already shown interest in this option.”
Mr Quinn said the company wanted to implement the new structure in October.
KiwiRail had looked closely at the existing 1000 track staff and where the highest need for these staff would be over the coming years to propose the changes, he said.
"While no final decisions have been made, we are planning a reduction in our network spend over the next three years which has resulted in the need to reduce staff numbers by 181 nationally. This is a response to current economic uncertainties and will allow the I&E business to further contribute to KiwiRail's goal of becoming a sustainable business in the next 10 years.”
He said KiwiRail still intended to spend $750 million on the track network over the next three years, about $200m less than planned to spend before the full impacts of the economic downturn and events such as the Christchurch earthquake occurring.
“A $750m investment is significant, the staff changes are not about doing the same amount of work with less staff, we will simply be doing less work but in a more efficient and planned way . . . There will absolutely be no compromise on the safety of our operations.”
- The Marlborough Express