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Carter Holt Harvey says Union’s grounds baseless

Carter Holt Harvey says Union’s grounds baseless

Carter Holt Harvey Kinleith Chief Executive Brice Landman said today that the grounds advanced by the union for its strike action at Kinleith were baseless.

“The union’s claim that the company is ‘refusing’ to negotiate over the collective contract misrepresents the situation.

“The contract expired in March 2001, and last month the union suggested to the company that negotiations recommence in January 2003, once the current restructuring of the mill had been achieved.

“On this basis, some key members of the Kinleith negotiating team are currently on leave.

“If strike action goes ahead, it will only add to the financial difficulties already faced by Kinleith in the intensely competitive global pulp and paper market.

“No one involved with the mill can hide from these difficulties. The mill lost $13 million in the first nine months of the year and that trend continues. Through-out the year stopwork meetings have cost $4.1million. And every day of strike action will mean a further $500,000 in lost production.

“Rather than saving jobs through the action they are taking, they are in fact putting the whole future of the mill further in jeopardy.

“Whatever legal or industrial action the union attempts form here, the fact remains that Kinleith must change if it is to survive, and this change process is now under way,” Brice Landman said.

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