Lane Walker Rudkin closure 'an avoidable tragedy'
Embargoed until 11.15 am
Media release from the National
November 27, 2009
Lane Walker Rudkin closure ‘an avoidable tragedy’
The last nail in the coffin of an iconic company has been driven home with today’s announcement that Lane Walker Rudkin will lay off its remaining staff.
NDU textile and clothing sector secretary Paul Watson says LWR had employed tens of thousands of workers over the last century and it will be a sad day when they turn off the sewing machines and switch out the lights for the last time just before Christmas this year.
“The manufacturing staff that have remained working following the receivers May and August redundancy announcements were dreading this day,” he says.
“They were hoping someone would purchase the business and keep it going but at the same time it is a relief to know what is happening so they can plan ahead.”
Mr Watson says the tragedy is the closure was potentially avoidable had the company been managed more responsibly.
“The company had borrowed over $100 million and huge losses were being incurred month after month but no one did anything about it.
“The serious fraud office has been called in, hundreds of workers lost their jobs and full redundancy entitlement and New Zealand clothing manufacturing has lost its biggest employer.”
The NDU worked with the Ministry of Social Development to appoint a former LWR employee as a redundancy support coordinator to help workers at earlier redundancies and will be asking the Ministry to extend the service to assist the remaining workers find new jobs.