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85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar

85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar - Christchurch textile firm in receivership

News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to those affected, FIRST Union said today.

Staff at Christchurch Yarns were told yesterday that their firm has been placed in to receivership. 85 workers are affected, and all are expected to be made redundant.

FIRST Union represents three quarters of workers on site. Staff are being further updated at a meeting on site on Monday at 11am.

The company is citing a downturn in orders, in particular in Australia, as demand for carpet weakens, and the punishingly high New Zealand dollar.

The union understands the company is proposing to employ a skeleton crew for a further 3 weeks on fixed term agreements to finish up orders.

At the moment workers’ wages and holiday pay will be paid out, but any redundancy pay is not confirmed at this stage and it will go in as a preferential claim as per usual receivership scenarios. The status of long service entitlements is also still to be confirmed at this stage.

FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said:

“This has come as a complete shock. Workers and their union were given very short notice of the receivership.”

“This receivership follows on from that of Southern Cross Forest Products this year and Tachikawa Forest Products late last year. The primary product processing industries are particularly vulnerable and are being squeezed between high commodity process and the high dollar.”

“Christchurch Yarns workers have a highly specialised skill set, and the workforce includes a number of older workers many of whom will find it difficult securing other work.”

“We will make contact with Council and MSD officials to ensure workers get all the assistance they need, and will seek support to implement a redundancy support programme, similar to what we have done in recent years at Lane Walker Rudkin, Pacific Brands and Canterbury Spinners,” Robert Reid said.

Ends.

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