High-value jobs lost as Fletchers sells off Pacific Steel
Workers at Pacific Steel in Auckland are facing redundancy as the company is sold off by parent company Fletchers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
Pacific Steel has been purchased by NZ Steel, and will continue to operate the rolling mill and wire mill in Otahuhu. The steel mill, however, will be closed by the end of 2015, at the cost of over 70 jobs.
“These are high-value, skilled jobs, and it’s a blow to our members and their community to lose them,” says Bill Newson, EPMU national secretary.
There may be opportunities for workers to retrain to other roles and the EPMU will work with Fletchers to ensure that workers who wish to retrain are able to do so.
“Our focus now is on supporting our members,” says Bill Newson. “But these job losses are another indictment of the government’s failure to support jobs and manufacturing in New Zealand.
“We need a serious strategy to grow our industries, not shifting work around and reducing good jobs.
“Employers are telling me that steel is being imported for the Christchurch rebuild. Why are we importing steel and laying off Kiwi steel workers?”
Union members at Pacific Steel who are ultimately made redundant will receive redundancy pay as part of their collective agreement.