August 2, 2005
Workers in bid to save jobs
Workers at Carter Holt Harvey’s Tokoroa plywood mill and their union are preparing to sit down with their bosses in a bid to avoid redundancies.
On Friday the company announced that it intended laying off 55 workers and cutting hours for other workers because of increased costs and a downturn in the Australian housing market.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union assistant national secretary Rosalie Webster said that there were better ways of improving profitability than simple cost cutting.
“This is a knee-jerk reaction to what is essentially a cyclical situation,” she said.
“Cutting the wage bill is a short-term response which doesn’t take into account the company’s long-term needs.”
Ms Webster said that the union would work with the company over the next two weeks to find ways of increasing productivity and reducing costs without cutting staff.
“We hope that the company will take this opportunity seriously, but we are concerned that it might have already made up its mind about cutting staff,” she said.
“The consultation with the company should have happened well before we got to this point.”
Ms Webster said that after representations from the union, that company had agreed to 21 union members from the site working on the consultation process for two weeks.