Bic manufacturing considers move overseas

Photo / File
Photo / File

Bic is considering moving its New Zealand manufacturing operation overseas.

An announcement from the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing union today said the company was holding a one-week consultation period with staff about the move.

It was expected about 19 jobs at Bic's Auckland site would be gone by early next year, the EPMU said in a statement.

The union's manufacturing industry organiser Louisa Jones said the proposed closure would have a huge impact on staff, many of whom have worked for the company for decades.

"Most workers at Bic are long-serving and they have been incredibly loyal and dedicated, so this is a real shock for them.

"It's going to be very hard to find similar work given the state the manufacturing sector is in. Over the last four years, 40,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared and we know from experience that many of these workers have ended up in low paid, insecure service jobs."

Ms Jones said the union would do everything to make sure Bic could live up to its responsibilities as an employer.

"These are the people who have made Bic's product and built its brand in New Zealand over the last four decades, and they deserve to be treated right."

Bic's Oceania general manager Peter Travers said in a statement the Bic understood it was a difficult time for staff.

''[We] apologise for any distress caused. We are committed to supporting our staff throughout this process.''

Other Bic operations in Auckland, including sales, warehousing and logistics and support services, would continue.

A decision to consider a manufacturing shift overseas was made after several months of evaluating Bic's New Zealand business, which had come under increasing pressure due to rising local manufacturing costs.

Mr Travers said the company remained ``fully committed'' to its New Zealand customers.

The consultation period was expected to be completed by the end of September.

- APNZ

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