Kaitaia workers left with more questions than answers – unions request assistance from ministers
Workers at the JNL/ Juken Triboard Wood Products Mill in Kaitaia remain concerned after today’s company announcement
that the mill would be undergoing a major upgrade, and around 40 jobs may be on the chopping block.
Workers and their respective unions (FIRST Union and E tū) feel they have been telling the company repeatedly that the
mill needs upgrades but now feel concerned that the upgrades will take place at the workers expense.
FIRST Union President Robert Reid who attended a staff meeting this morning where the company outlined its restructuring
and upgrade plans says he has numerous concerns regarding the proposal and workers have many questions.
“The news of the upgrade was overshadowed by news that the restructuring would cause around 40 redundancies and a change
to shift patterns that would see most JNL workers take home reduced pay and travel costs would increase.”
He says the announcement is a major regional development and employment issue for Northland.
“The unions call on Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Minister of Employment Willie Jackson to
liaise with the parties involved to ensure that there are ongoing sustainable wood processing jobs in Northland.”
Mr Reid says workers are also concerned the company noted the soft market for its products in Japan and the problems of
accessing logs Northland.
“If these issues cannot be resolved then the upgrade and job losses would be for nothing.”
FIRST Union and E tū will be in consultation with the company for the next two weeks to try and thrash out the concerns
workers have raised over the companies proposals.
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.