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UPDATE: Fletcher HR boss Kate Daly jumps ship to BNZ

UPDATE: Fletcher HR boss Kate Daly jumps ship to BNZ; quarry workers strike

(Adds Fletcher response to strike in 7th and 8th paragraphs, updates shares in final paragraph)

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 21 (BusinessDesk) - Fletcher Building's chief people and communications officer Kate Daly is leaving the country's biggest construction firm to take on a similar role at Bank of New Zealand, the same day the company's quarry workers downed tools over pay and conditions.

Auckland-based Fletcher has been ringing in changes in its executive team and boardroom after costs at two major building projects blew out, forcing the company to downgrade earnings in the middle of a construction boom. Daly is heading to Bank of New Zealand where she will take over as director people and communications.

"Kate joined Fletcher Building as the group general manager of human resources in June 2011, and since then has built a strong human resources function focused on leadership, talent, diversity, capability and building a highly engaged and high-performing workforce," interim chief executive Francisco Irazusta said in a statement. "The leadership and diversity programmes developed under her leadership have been recognised both internationally and domestically."

Daly's departure comes the same day First Union members at Fletcher's Winston quarry division go on strike outside the Hunua site in Auckland, following a one-day walk-out over poor pay and conditions last month.

First Union spokesman Bryce Hamilton said the company isn’t offering workers enough to keep up with the cost of living, and the workers' collective has lodged legal proceedings against Fletcher accusing it of offering workers individual agreements during collection agreement negotiations, undermining those talks.

"Quarry work can be dirty and dangerous and the workers’ site is classified as 'high hazard' by Worksafe," Hamilton said. "This isn’t easy work and the workers deserve recognition for that."

Fletcher said there are 12 workers on strike and the industrial action won't impact the quarry's ability to operate, with normal production and opening hours.

"We highly value our Hunua quarry and transport employees and believe our proposal will ensure they remain well remunerated in comparison to the sector, with wage increases higher than the New Zealand average over the past 12 months," the company said in a statement.

Fletcher's employee costs rose 4.9 percent to $1.73 billion in the year ended June 30, while senior executive remuneration shrank 24 percent to $13 million.

The company's shares fell 2.6 percent $7.95, having dropped 23 percent so far this year.



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