Wednesday 30th January 2008, 11.00 am
Westport Postie Plus warehouse to close
40 job loss “bloody hard to swallow”
Workers will be “gutted” by the Postie Plus Group Limited’s decision to close its Westport distribution centre, says the National Distribution Union.
NDU southern secretary Paul Watson says that from the 1st of April the company will abandon its birthplace and move their remaining distribution operations to Christchurch causing the loss of a further forty jobs.
Thirty-three staff took voluntary redundancy and four workers transferred to Christchurch when the company moved some of the distribution divisions from Westport to Christchurch last year.
“Today is a grey day in a dark week for the Buller District,” says Mr Watson. “The Postie Plus Board have weighed commercial interests above investment in the small community that helped build the retail chain.”
Mr Watson met with Postie Plus CEO Ron Boskell yesterday in a confidential briefing to reiterate recommendations put to the board by the union, the Buller District Council and the Westcoast Development Trust earlier this month.
A third of the 5,000-strong community signed a petition supporting the recommendations.
“It’s a tragic waste of a skilled efficient workforce and the prospect of redundancy is not a great start to the New Year. “
Mr Watson says the loss was “bloody hard to swallow” but it couldn’t be said that the people of Westport hadn’t put up a good fight
“In my experience I have never seen such an awesome response by a community to a call for help by some of its members.”