Unions express concern over Feltex offer
The National Distribution Union and The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are concerned about the possible outcome for Feltex workers after Godfrey Hirst announced its offer for the company today.
The deal would mean the loss of 135 jobs through the total closure of the carpet maker’s Kakariki factory (near Fielding) and a staff reduction of 40% in its Christchurch plant.
All other workers would be shifted onto lower terms and conditions – a situation that would have to be agreed to by them.
NDU National Secretary Laila Harré has met with Godfrey Hirst today and hopes to put into place a framework for collective agreement negotiations with the company.
“The two unions’ aims will be to ensure job security for those who are offered employment with Godfrey Hirst, recognition of service at Feltex and maintenance of wages and conditions.”
EPMU National Secretary Andrew Little says the implications of the offer are immensely disappointing.
“Many of our members have been with this company for decades, they’ve been loyal to it, and now they’re facing unemployment. I just hope this isn’t another example of a big Australian company attacking Kiwi workers.”
Workers have previously taken pay cuts to help the ailing company.
The NDU covers 700 textile workers at Feltex. The EPMU covers 45 tradesmen.
Both unions and their delegates will be meeting tomorrow to decide what steps to take next.