October 21, 2002
Employers want Kinleith workers
Employers are keen to snap up workers facing possible redundancy from the Kinleith pulp and paper mill.
EPMU advocate Mike Sweeney said that at least two dozen employers had contacted him within a week of the workers advertising their skills nationally.
Mill owner Carter Holt Harvey wants to get rid of 390 people (nearly half the mill’s workforce) and replace them with contractors.
The Employment Court ordered the company to consult the workers and their unions before making any decisions about redundancies. Those discussions continue this week, but meanwhile, the workers are keen to know what other jobs might be out there.
Mr Sweeney said that inquiries had come from a wide range of industries all over the country, but there was particular interest from the food manufacturing industry and contractors in Southland and Otago, who were looking for electricians and electronics trades people.
“This country has a severe shortage of skilled workers, as shown in the latest BNZ survey on the difficulty employers are having recruiting and keeping staff,” he said.
“The Kinleith workforce is highly-skilled and motivated, and I’m not surprised that so many employers are interested in those people.”