Media release: FIRST Union
Thursday September 13, 2012
Manufacturing figures confirm bad news for workers
Just-released manufacturing figures continue to paint a negative picture for workers in the productive sectors, a union for textiles and wood processing workers said today.
The figures for employment in today’s Business NZ/BNZ Performance of Manufacturing index were the worst since July 2009, and confirm the fears of workers in the sector of a jobs crisis, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid said.
The survey overall reported a further contraction in manufacturing activity.
“Our union has been dealing with several significant cases of actual or proposed redundancies with employers, as have the EPMU and other unions,” Robert Reid said.
“Goodman Fielder’s announcement last week of a proposal to close around 18 of its 53 factories in Australia and New Zealand was the latest bad news for members of our union, which was announced without workforce consultation.
“There is now a growing consensus around the need for monetary policy reform. This week we had some useful contributions to the debate from the NZ Institute of Economic Research.
“But who is missing from the conversation? Our government, who continues to shirk away from engaging in a meaningful debate on policy settings that support jobs in the productive sector.
“Manufacturing is New Zealand’s third largest employing industry. Hundreds of thousands of manufacturing workers deserve better a better response from the government that ‘there’s nothing we can do’,” Robert Reid said.
The National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces in October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST. The union represents over 27,000 people working in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport. http://firstunion.org.nz