Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Waikato food manufacturing workers shocked at announcement


Waikato food manufacturing workers shocked at today’s announcement

The proposed closure of a Waikato food manufacturing facility has come as a shock and a surprise to workers and is being driven from Australia, the workers’ union says.

Workers at Goodman Fielder’s Frankton Meats plant were told at 7am this morning that the proposed sale of the meats section to Hellers would result in the closure of the Frankton facility.

The sale of the meats business was expected but workers had been lead to believe the Frankton site would remain in operation, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.

“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 was being sold to a new owner as a going concern,” he said.

“People left for their Christmas holidays thinking that they were coming back to their jobs. In less than two weeks this has changed dramatically, with the news that the business has been sold to Hellers, but that Hellers are only buying the brands and will be not be operating out of Frankton.”

Today’s announcement comes after a review of Goodman Fielder in 2011 and a new strategy launched in November 2011 which has seen Goodman Fielder significantly reduce the areas of food sector they are in.

“Workers understood that the bean counters in Sydney had determined that Goodman Fielder would exit from meat and small goods in New Zealand.”

“Today’s news follows the closure of Goodman Fielder’s Longburn plant in Manawatu, and the workers at the Frankton plant have been consistently told that Goodman Fielder were going to do their best to sell the business as a going concern and keep these jobs in the Waikato.”

“Workers’ expectations that Hellers would play the role of the White Knight and keep them in jobs have been dashed, and they feel considerably let down.”

Robert Reid said that Goodman Fielder has indicated there are 40 jobs nationally, largely in bread manufacturing, that could be available, but he said these jobs were not in Hamilton and are a new skill set. Similarly new owners Hellers have indicated that 50 jobs in Christchurch may be available also.

“We will be encouraging workers to consider any jobs that are available but we don’t expect a huge pick up of workers wanting to leave the Waikato to these jobs, especially given the high rental and other cost of living pressures in Christchurch right now.

The union will be talking to both Goodman Fielder and Hellers over the next few days as part of the formal consultation requirements, Robert Reid said.

“For us that needs to be meaningful consultation and we will want to see strong justification as to why a perfectly good small goods factory has to close with a loss of 125 jobs in the Waikato.”

FIRST Union members are covered by a collective agreement with redundancy provisions.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news