October 14, 2008
Joint Media Release
Mill closure announced
Carter Holt Harvey’s announcement of closures costing between 250-300 jobs at Putaruru and Mt Maunganui will be a shock to workers and their communities, say the National Distribution Union and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
The announcement was made to staff this afternoon and closures are being blamed on overcapacity.
NDU national secretary Laila Harre says unions will be looking carefully at this proposal and if it is confirmed workers will have ongoing union support.
“It’s likely these plants will be shut in November but NDU and EPMU members have good redundancy provisions in their collective agreements and so have something to fall back on.
“During the Feltex closures we made sure union members were provided with good union support both before and after their redundancies and we will be making sure these members have the same opportunities”
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the closure is a sign of economic downturn.
“This is a result of the economic slowdown and in particular the slowdown in the timber market but it shows how important it is for workers to have decent redundancy packages so that they have some stability and a real chance to find good work”.
“After the closure of Kopu mill last May it was their negotiated redundancy provision that let our members get on with their lives and move on to other things”.
The EPMU and the NDU represent nearly 8000 New Zealand timber and forestry workers between them.