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Thames firm facing up to 100 job losses

Community and agencies rallies around Thames firm facing up to 100 job losses

Photo: JillCleave/Stuff

The loss of up to 100 jobs at one of Thames' oldest engineering businesses, A & G Price, has seen the communities and agencies swinging into action quickly to support those affected.

It was announced yesterday that the company was going into liquidation, with staff being told not to return to work today.

"This is devastating for the workers, their families and our communities," says Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie. "We're talking about a lot of really good workers, - people that are tried and true - engineers, welders and other skilled tradespeople."

Thames Community Board Diane Connors also extending support on behalf of the local Board. "This is a difficult time for many and we ask that Thames do what is does best - pull together and look out for one another," she says.

"We're really optimistic that people will find jobs quickly, and it's heartening to see that our communities are rallying together already to lend support," says Mayor Sandra. "Since the announcement last night, our Council, along with our local radio station Coromandel More FM has been inundated with job offers from employers from within the District and the surrounds," says the Mayor.

All this information is being passed on to Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to coordinate support and assistance to those affected.

Work and Income are arranging support sessions at the Thames Community Link tomorrow (Friday 28 July) at 9.00am and 2.00pm for affected A & G Price staff. These sessions will cover financial assistance including superannuation that is available, as well as employment opportunities that are advertised with Work and Income, and potential opportunities that are in the pipeline. Work and Income will have experienced Case Managers and Work Brokers on hand to assist.

Affected A & G Price staff can also drop into the Thames Community Link reception desk at any time. Their names will be taken and a time will be provided to them. A & G Price will be looking at running additional sessions next week as well as staff may still need some time to process what’s happened.

The acting Work and Income Service Centre Manager for the Thames community Link is Peter Davies. His contact details are 029 263 7511 or 07 957 1564 or peter.davies002@msd.govt.nz and he will be the main conduit connecting potential employers with A & G Price staff on the ground.

A & G Price History

The engineering firm was established in 1868, and is one of New Zealand's longest established engineering works.

According to the company's website, two brothers, Alfred and George Price, opened an engineering workshop in Onehunga, Auckland, before opening a foundry and engineering works in Thames in 1871.

Business was thriving around the booming gold mining industry on the Coromandel Peninsula.

In the late 1880s, the company started designing and building steam locomotives, supplying 298 steam and diesel locomotives for New Zealand Rail and others.

With the decline of the rail industry in the 1960s the company moved towards specialised heavy machining and technical refurbishment work.

Yesterday A & G Price Limited in Thames announced its engineering company has gone into liquidation. Workers were told their contracts were dissolved and, as of now, they were unemployed and not to come to work.

They were also told there were no guarantees on redundancy. A & G Price Ltd employs approximately 140 staff in a range of engineering and associated disciplines, skills in design, draughting, foundry, machine-shop, welding, fabrication, fitting, administration and related professions.


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