INDEPENDENT NEWS

E tū: Nestle job losses “a bolt from the blue”

Published: Thu 12 Jul 2018 04:26 PM
12 July 2018
MEDIA RELEASE
E tū: Nestle job losses “a bolt from the blue”
The union, E tū says the announcement of job losses at Nestle’s factory at Wiri in Auckland has come as a “bolt from the blue”.
The union has about 200 members at the plant, where up to 55 workers could lose their jobs after Nestle reached a provisional agreement to sell its sugar and confectionary business to private equity firm, Quadrant Private Equity.
Well-known Kiwi brands affected by the sale include Mackintosh’s, Heards, Black Knight liquorice, Life Savers and Oddfellows.
The restructure will also see production of Nestle’s Scorched Almonds move to a third-party contractor in Melbourne, while production of the iconic Lollipops brand will move to China.
“We were aware of the sell-off of product lines and cuts to staff overseas, so we asked the company specifically if there were any such plans for New Zealand,” says Phil Knight, E tū Industry Coordinator, Manufacturing and Food.
“We were assured there were none, so this has come as a bolt from the blue,” he says.
“Not only is this the opposite of what we were told, but we weren’t invited to the meetings they held with our members late yesterday afternoon to deliver this news, prior to the public announcement.
“So, we’re very disappointed. The company has issued a letter with its reasons for this restructure and sell-off and announcing a consultation process. The union is making every case for a decent timeframe for this, given the probability of job losses.”
Phil says workers may be offered jobs at Quadrant’s Levin-based factory, or in Melbourne, “but we have yet to learn the detail of the sale proposal let alone any alternative work offers.”
In the meantime, he says the union is supporting its members “who are going through the usual range of emotions that you’d expect from an announcement like this.”
“While the union-negotiated collective agreement has very generous redundancy provisions, it is not the same as a job, and we are worried about this coming on top of other job losses in the food manufacturing industry in New Zealand,” says Phil.
Phil notes the decision comes soon after the Cadbury closure and follows announcements of future job losses at Griffins and Kraft Heinz Watties.
“This is yet another example of a global corporate making decisions which adversely affect local workers,” he says.
“I think it’s time for New Zealanders to think carefully about what products and businesses they support, and where the profits made go to.
“Where they have a choice and the products are competitively priced and of a good standard, we would urge them to consider buying New Zealand-made products only.”
ENDS
E Tu
E tū: the new union for New Zealanders
E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers' Union.
E tū represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning.
By standing together in a union workers get higher wages and better conditions. As the country's largest private sector union E tū can provide members with workplace representation, legal advice, a freephone support centre, work rights education and broad representation through E tū's campaigning and research work.
We campaign hard for workers' rights, health and safety, a living wage for all Kiwis, and recognising high-value skilled work.
Contact Service And Food Workers Union
Website:
Twitter:
Facebook:

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Auckland-Chicago named a top 10 ‘most exciting’ new route
By: Air New Zealand
ESR ups its reporting on Meningococcal disease
By: ESR
Game-changing technology for 3D printing tiny structures
By: KiwiNet
Major infrastructure partnership for North Auckland
By: New Zealand Government
Meningococcal W – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Increased vigilance needed for meningococcal disease
By: Ministry of Health
Raising meningococcal disease awareness amongst doctors
By: Northland DHB
Tragic suspected meningococcal disease death
By: Northland DHB
Antibiotics, advice after meningococcal death
By: Auckland Regional Public Health Service
Kiwi Parents Urged to Immunise Infants & Teens
By: GlaxoSmithKline
ASA decision on anti-vax billboard
By: Advertising Standards Authority
Housing a springboard to whānau development
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media