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Workers and families need our support

Media Release

Clare Curran

LABOUR CANDIDATE

DUNEDIN SOUTH

FRIDAY 18 APRIL 2008

Workers and families need our support

The 430 workers to lose their jobs at Dunedin’s Fisher and Paykel plant are committed, productive and innovative people. We should be enormously proud of their contribution to our economy, Labour Candidate for Dunedin South Clare Curran said today.

Ms Curran said the decision to close the Fisher and Paykel plant at Mosgiel was incredibly disappointing but she was confident that Dunedin would offer full support.

“The most important thing now is to focus on the impact of this decision on the people directly affected, their families and our community.

“I believe in the capacity of our city to rise to the occasion with support for the workers and families and for new job opportunities,” said Ms Curran.

“I call upon the company to enter into negotiations with the unions representing the workers to maximise the number of jobs that can be retained in Dunedin.

Ms Curran also said she was saddened at the decision to close Tamahine Knitwear, another longstanding Dunedin-based company with the loss of 50 jobs.

“Our main concern is the welfare and future of the workers involved, their families and the wider impact on our community and local economy.

“We must ensure that maximum support is being put in place for the employees and their families.

“I believe that most of us in Dunedin will be touched personally by these decisions, whether through a family member, a friend or neighbour.

“The manufacturing industry is the largest employer in Dunedin South, representing almost 13% of the workforce. Manufacturing is a significant part of Dunedin’s economy and the loss of 430 jobs will have a significant impact.

“However, I’m confident that we have very good support systems in place, both from our local Work and Income office and from the City generally.

“It doesn’t make sense to move jobs offshore when we have such a competent and loyal workforce at Fisher and Paykel. This decision does not recognise the value of these workers locally who are highly productive, innovative and committed.

“Fisher and Paykel is an iconic NZ brand and has a long connection with Dunedin. It was the successor to Shacklocks, a Dunedin-based firm which dates back to 1871. It’s a real shame when any industry leaves Dunedin and it’s incredibly disappointing that the industry is leaving in order to seek cheap labour costs overseas.


ENDS

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