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Kinleith workers look for new employers

Kinleith workers look for new employers

Kinleith pulp and paper mill workers threatened with redundancy are advertising their skills to other employers.

Advertisements will run in tomorrow’s (Saturday) NZ Herald, Waikato Times, Daily Post, DominionPost and The Press newspapers calling for expressions of interest from potential employers.

Kinleith owner Carter Holt Harvey wants to get rid of 390 production, stores and maintenance workers – nearly half the mill’s workforce. Initial plans to lay off the workers this month (October) were stymied by a court ruling that the company had to consult the workers.

Those consultations are continuing, but with the company publicly saying that it still intends laying the workers off, the workers are looking at other options.

“People are feeling that they – and their ideas – are not wanted at the mill, and they are exploring other options,” said union advocate Mike Sweeney.

“We have put up proposals that deliver tangible results to meet the company’s long-term concerns, but they have been rejected.

Mr Sweeney said that the workers had a wide variety of sought-after skills and knew that other employers were interested in employing them. It was logical for the EPMU (Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union) to co-ordinate expressions of interest from employers.

Among the tradespeople advertising for work are carpenters, crane drivers, drainlayers, electricians, electronic technicians, fitters and turners, gas fitters, instrument technicians, instrument valve fitters, maintenance fitters, mechanics, mechanical and electrical planners, painters, plumbers, radio technicians, refrigeration technicians, riggers, scaffolders, sheetmetal workers, skilled production workers and welders.

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