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Council to Assist Thames Timber Workers

Council to Assist Thames Timber Workers

The announcement Wednesday afternoon that Southern Cross Forest Products Thames Timber Ltd (Thames Timber) will be sold to Profiles Woodproducts Limited has been dampened by an announced concurrent restructuring, says the union representing workers in the wood sector.

Southern Cross has been in receivership since 3 March this year and scores of workers have already lost their jobs in the Otago/Southland mills.

It is understood that the restructuring process will reduce the number of jobs from the current 142 to around 70-80, as the new owner reduces its operations from two shifts to one.

TCDC Mayor Glenn Leach said on Coromandel FM yesteday, "We will work closely with WINZ, and the company and the receivers and let the those people know we are here and whatever we can to do under hardship for them, we will be trying to do."

WINZ had a meeting at the Kopu plant yesterday morning and are working on a three-phase plan to assist the current employees.

Phase 1

Work and Income staff deliver on-site seminars starting 30 June 2014.
These sessions will not involve any benefit applications but focus on answering concerns regarding finance and financial education, employment advisory and general support.
Our aim is to complete phase 1 delivery to all employees before 4 July 2014. Once we know which employees do not have a new employment offer, phase 2 can start and the partner services finalised.
Phase 2

This phase will provide support services specific to the individuals without new employment offers and will focus on employment opportunities.
This phase would involve our Community Link Partners and other agencies
This phase needs to be completed by 18 July 2014.
Phase 3

This phase will start from 18 July 2014 and will focus on employment opportunities and financial assistance if required by those employees that are unemployed.
Settlement is due to take place on 18 July 2014.


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