June 20, 2002
Jobs for redundant meat plant workers
Tradespeople who will lose their jobs when the PPCS meat processing plant at Blenheim closes will hopefully find other work in the area, their union says.
EPMU South Island regional secretary Ged O’Connell said today that he expected the dozen skilled tradespeople working at the plant would seek work in aviation, marine engineering or other associated industries in the region.
Harder hit would be more than 200 meat workers, who would probably have to look for work in the growing wine industry, he said.
Mr O’Connell said that the closure of the plant was disappointing but not entirely unexpected as the industry seeks to maximise efficiency.
“Marlborough has had a couple of years of severe drought,” he said. “Couple that with the fact that land use in the area is changing from sheep farming to wine growing, the company advises that there just isn’t the through-put to justify retention of the plant.
Recent agreements with workers at PPCS plants in the central South Island to work shiftwork had increased capacity at those plants, Mr O’Connell said.
The tradesmen have a satisfactory redundancy Agreement that will provide some compensation whilst they try to find work elsewhere.