Big job losses worry union bosses

By Kieran Campbell

The jobs situation will continue to worsen and he has been in talks with at least two large companies on the brink of receivership. Photo / Thinkstock
The jobs situation will continue to worsen and he has been in talks with at least two large companies on the brink of receivership. Photo / Thinkstock

There are fears that hundreds of jobs are on the line as union bosses go into urgent meetings with several big businesses battling to survive.

First Union boss Robert Reid says the jobs situation will continue to worsen and he has been in talks with at least two large companies on the brink of receivership.

Mr Reid would not say what the businesses were but between them they employed about 400 people whose jobs were in jeopardy.

It comes as hundreds of job cuts have been revealed by big employers in recent weeks and an Opposition inquiry investigates what can be done to deal with New Zealand's "jobs crisis".

"In both those cases it is processing companies of New Zealand raw materials and it is the dollar that is the absolute killer," Mr Reid said.

It was revealed on Saturday that waste management company Transpacific Industries will cut 200 jobs in New Zealand and Australia, while Telecom last week said it was considering job cuts in the hundreds to reduce costs.

Mr Reid and other union bosses say there are many workers legitimately worried about their futures.

"The job losses will keep coming, there's no doubt [and] that's right across the economy. Even in the sectors doing well there are still job reductions," he said.

"It just keeps on keeping on and there just doesn't seem to be any let-up."

The cuts were overloading an already tight jobseekers' market, Mr Reid said.

"It doesn't surprise me because we've been consistently saying that we've got a jobs crisis and the Government seems to try and bat it off, saying we're in a flexible market and that's just garbage," EPMU organiser Joe Gallagher said.

100s of jobs at risk at Telecom

300 at risk at print company Geon Group, 200 at Transpacific Industries

450 axed at Solid Energy - 1200 more under review

100+ under threat at Contact Energy

192 to go at Summit Wool Spinners

200 at Mainzeal.

- APNZ

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