© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

51 Railway employees made redundant in Dunedin

Caitlin Rawling
Dunedin Railways
Dunedin Railways  Dunedin Railways

Fifty one Dunedin Railway employees had to find out through a media outlet they had been made redundant.

South Island regional organiser for Rail and Maritime transport, John Kerr spoke on behalf of the union, to Metronews about the lack of communication given to employees about their redundancies.

The timing was unfortunate, to say the least, which has made people very upset.

“It would’ve been helpful if the chair of Dunedin Railways Kevin Winders, had given the CEO the opportunity to inform their members before he spoke to the media because it is never good to read something like this in the media before you’re told by your employer.”

Winders told Otago Daily Times and Stuff, this morning, Dunedin Railways would be closing, which would result in the loss of fifty one jobs.

Dunedin Railways is yet another company which has had to close due to the damages COVID-19 has caused New Zealand’s tourism industry.

Kerr said for the former employees, it is potentially devasting for them as they have worked there for decades and it is a job many of them are very passionate about.

“Regardless of the loss of income, it has cut people to the core and shook people’s sense of purpose.”

 

South Island regional organiser for Rail and Maritime Transport, John Kerr told Metronews he thinks they will be able to recover from the damages COVID-19 has caused.

"It may mean we will have to focus our tourist businesses on domestic tourism and we are hopeful, we can turn this into an opportunity to get creative and for people to demonstrate leadership.

Kerr said there is a chance now to promote passenger rail in New Zealand, which is an environmentally and sustainable way of transport.

Members of the Dunedin City Council have signalled they are in support of a passenger commuter rail for Dunedin.