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Timberlands Learns How To Slash Jobs

The Green Party wants to know why Timberlands West Coast attended a VIP luncheon where a corporate hatchet man with a reputation for restructuring companies and firing staff was a keynote speaker.

Timberlands West Coast is listed on the attendance schedule for the "World Masters of Business" VIP luncheon held at the Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland Showgrounds, on Saturday 22 May. Seminar packages which included the luncheon ranged from $595 + GST to $995 + GST.

The keynote speaker was Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap, a 60-year old ex-paratrooper and West Point graduate also known as "Rambo in pinstripes". He earned his chainsaw nickname by restructuring companies, selling off non-core business, firing staff then moving on.

In his most famous corporate turn-around, Dunlap cut 11,000 jobs at Scott Paper Co, a third of the workforce. After turning Scott around and selling it to a rival he'd left with US$100M.

"I'd like to know what Timberlands' staff were hoping to learn from Mr Dunlap when they attended his presentation in Auckland," said Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald.

"I hope they are not planning to take his message to heart by slashing jobs on the West Coast to increase the company's profits.

"Timberlands should be focused on creating more jobs on the Coast by adding value to the pine plantations which are ready for harvesting.

"However the State Owned Enterprise continues on its own 'chainsaw' agenda by felling majestic rimu and beech trees and selling them for a fraction of their ecological and intrinsic value.

"This year the theme for Conservation Week, 'Our Chance to Turn the Tide', focuses on New Zealand's unique biodiversity. The Green Party wants the Government to take this to heart on the West Coast by ending the logging of indigenous forests," he said.

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