May 13, 2005
Response to CHH statement on MDF plant
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says that he is surprised by Carter Holt Harvey’s public statement that it is contemplating job losses at its Rangiora MDF plant.
“Our members attended a meeting with company managers last night, where the focus was very much on reducing hours and changing shifts as the type of measure needed to meet the company’s goals of increased efficiency,” he said.
“Certainly, no emphasis was put on cutting jobs.
“We understand that the company wants to increase efficiency and reduce costs, but we are taking at face value its stated commitment to working through these issues with its workforce to find the best solutions possible.
“Our members are working hard to come up with innovative ideas to help the company, and we are disappointed to hear it talk publicly about the likelihood of job losses.”
Mr Little said that it was important not to let transient economic conditions such as a high New Zealand dollar push the company into making a decision to shed jobs.
“When conditions improve, as they will, the company be looking for the very skilled workers that they have let go,” he said.
Mr Little said that the union remained committed to working through the consultation process with the company.