May 28, 2002
CHH Admits It Still Needs Kinleith Maintenance Force
Carter Holt Harvey has today admitted that it needs 190 maintenance workers at its Kinleith pulp and paper mill – despite the fact that it is about to lay off all 190 staff maintenance workers.
Mill manager Brice Landman this morning told Morning Report that “international models” showed that a modern mill the size of Kinleith needed 190 maintenance workers.
He conceded that the company had already had discussions with a maintenance contracting company and that it would need 190 workers to do the job.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that Mr Landman’s admission proved that the move to contract out maintenance was nothing more than ideology.
“There is no practical reason for this,” he said.
“The company has obviously had quite detailed discussions with the contractor even while it was supposedly consulting with us over the needs of the mill.
“We offered a whole raft of concessions, including no pay rise for 18 months, in an effort to make the current labour agreement competitive and sustainable. But still the company is going ahead with contracting out. The only conclusion that we can draw is that the decision is ideological.”
Mr Landman told Morning Report that it would “encourage” the contractor to take on the workers that CHH was making redundant, but that they would earn less than they were currently.