12 February 2018
Disappointment as JNL mothballs its LVL plant in Gisborne
A union representing workers at JNL’s Gisborne mill says it is disappointed the company is going ahead with its proposal to mothball its LVL plant.
The decision means around 90 jobs will go.
“Together with our sister union, E tū, FIRST Union will be doing all we can to support those JNL workers who are affected by this,” said FIRST Union President Robert Reid.
“The impact this decision is going to have on the region’s economy and community is significant. Nearly 100 workers will be made redundant as a result. That’s going to have an enormous impact on the local people.
“Our unions put up alternatives to mothballing, but we’re disappointed JNL didn’t take the time to fully investigate those and other alternatives. LVL production will be mothballed, but facilities won’t be removed from site. We’re hopeful that, in the right conditions, LVL production could resume again.”
“JNL has also said that its sawn wood and SLVL (Structural Laminated Veneer Lumber) lines could increase production and bring on more jobs if there was a growing market for their product,” said Reid.
“If we’re entering a house building boom in New Zealand then now is the time for Government, the wood sector and local industry to work together to bring jobs back to local mills.”
“Our unions will now focus their immediate attention on supporting those workers being made redundant. Workers will receive redundancy pay thanks to a union negotiated redundancy agreement. We will also be working with the company and Work and Income to ensure that redundant workers have CVs prepared, are provided with retraining if necessary and have job search support. It is fortuitous that Far East Sawmill will be hiring workers in a few weeks and there may be 50-60 job openings there,” said Reid.