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Miners’ union will challenge Solid Energy cuts

August 29, 2012
Media Release

Miners’ union will challenge Solid Energy cuts

Solid Energy’s proposal to suspend the Spring Creek mine and cut jobs at Huntly East is not yet a done deal, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The miners were told of the proposed job cuts at meetings this afternoon in Huntly and Dunollie.

EPMU assistant national secretary Ged O’Connell says miners will now meet to plan their response to Solid Energy’s proposal.

“This is a drastic decision that will have a huge impact not just on miners and their families but also the communities that rely on these jobs and the income they bring in.

“Under this proposal anyone who wants to stay in underground mining would have little option but to move to Australia, and once they’re gone it’ll be very hard to get them back.

“The loss of so many skilled, experienced miners would have a real impact on productivity and safety in New Zealand mines for years to come.

“Our priority now is to get together with our members, look at Solid Energy’s business case and see whether there are any alternatives that don’t involve such drastic cuts.”

Mr O’Connell says the timing is particularly concerning as Solid Energy is currently on the block as part of the government’s asset sales programme.

“We need to be sure that these proposals are driven by genuine business reasons, and not simply to prepare the company for sale.”

Under the union’s collective employment agreement Solid Energy must now engage in meaningful consultation with staff, and any union members made redundant will be entitled to notice and compensation.

ENDS

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