Media release: FIRST Union
Thursday 27 March, 2014
Sad day for 120 Hamilton food manufacturing workers
Tomorrow is a sad day for 120 Huttons workers in Hamilton who will have their last day at work.
Workers made redundant by Goodman Fielder’s Frankton Meats will be gathering on site at 11am tomorrow for a final staff lunch.
Goodman Fielder has sold their meats section to Hellers, resulting in the closure of the Frankton facility, as Hellers will only maintain Christchurch and Auckland processing plants.
“These were 120 unnecessary job losses,” FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.
“Goodman Fielder’s meat division was a good and viable business. Our union had identified alternative purchasers who would have kept the plant open, and these were rejected by Goodman Fielder.”
“Workers knew at the end of last year that the final processes were in place for the sale of the meats business but everyone had been led to believe it would be sold to a new owner as a going concern,” he said.
The union understands that around 10 workers have taken up positions with Hellers in either Auckland or Christchurch, but very few if any have gone to other parts of Goodman Fielder’s operations. Around 40 people have found other work, including the 10 workers going to Hellers.
“The union understands over half of the workforce have yet to find jobs,” Robert Reid said.
FIRST Union has established a post redundancy support centre at its offices in the Waikato Trade Union Centre in Harwood Street, Hamilton and has appointed a senior Huttons union delegate Te Aroha (Boy) Tihi as the support coordinator.
“The redundancy support service will be keeping in touch all redundant workers, assisting with job search and liaising with Work and Income and other government agencies,” Robert Reid said.
FIRST Union members are covered by a collective agreement which includes redundancy provisions.